GREGORY SIFF | PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN ICE CREAM MAN
6 – 17 – 2016
Written by Baha Danesh
Featuring Artist Gregory Siff
Located at 4 AM Gallery – Los Angeles Arts District
Gregory Siff’s newest solo exhibition, “Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man,” communicates his most vivid childhood memories which include his journey of moving to Los Angeles as an adult and celebrating the people and places that have impacted his adventures.
His work is fearless and intuitive. A vivid theme of man vs. nature can be found within his abstract illustrations. His artwork encompasses the duality of light and dark which allows the viewer to feel whimsical yet nostalgic. At times, his paintings can take you back to being a kid, while simultaneously haunting you with murky shadows and images of a dark future.
Siff was born in Brooklyn, New York, but was soon drawn to Los Angeles’s plentiful artistic opportunities and warmer weather. His artwork combines clippings from canvases made in his DTLA studio with journal entries from his recent travels that create a quilt of personal memories.
With his remaining high from his incredible solo show, Gregory Siff took a moment to sit down with We Choose Art to discuss his background, his process, and what a “Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man” means to him.
What’s your inspiration behind the Portrait Of An American Ice Cream Man?
The idea that the heart of a child still lives inside you and you cannot ignore that. Forever Ice Cream will make you feel good.
How do you begin your artistic process before you start painting?
I like to check in with myself and see where I’m at. If its fire or chill, if I’m happy or angry. It all adds comment that is real and gives the painting it’s overall tone even after it has been fine tuned and worked. I Love putting music on as loud as can be and repeating the same song many times or nothing at all. Silence.
How has you your practice changed over time?
3 hours a day became 18 hours a day during show time. My practice has always been, put the hours in so you can find the real parts of what it means to be human and how to say it in paint.
Name something in your studio that you love and why?
I love my floors. It used to be a concrete trucking yard and party favor warehouse. So all my paint and ink stains blend into the concrete and meld with the shape of the rock but absorb and it’s a fine abstract of the hours that go into the person painting. Sometimes I’ll find some pearls or a diamond pin that has been left over from the party people. I like to think that it’s cool that the party never ended and whatever is being created here is adding enjoyment and laughter to other people’s lives. Art is made and then it is sent into the world to DO something. Feel that.
Professionally, what’s your goal within the art world?
To share my work in new forums, parks, museums, mail art, anything that can help the world be a little more in love with itself. We only get a moment here.
And finally, what makes you want to choose art? (We ask this in all of our of interviews)
I didn’t choose art. It chose me. HARD.
Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man was presented by 4AM Gallery and Mercedes Benz and will remain on view until July 31 located 422 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
For more info visit www.gregorysiff.com or join the conversation with Gregory Siff on Instagram (@GregorySiff), Snapchat (@GregorySiff), Twitter (@GregorySiff), Facebook via hashtags #GregorySiff #PortraitofanAmericanIceCreamMan.
Photos by Baha Danesh.