Gregory Siff is truly a contemporary American artist. Creating images that blend Pop Art and Abstract-expressionism, Siff’s work is vibrant and arresting with an emotionalism normally absent in urban art. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Gregory officially made Los Angeles home in 2009 where he has since established himself as ‘one to watch’ in the LA art scene. He has garnered a strong following among the Hollywood community as well as holding his own in the street art scene, having recently completed a collaboration with artist RISK and others within one of LA’s most respected crews, The 7th Letter.
NAME: Gregory Siff
CITY: Los Angeles, CA
CAMERA: Diana F+
“I make paintings to hang on your wall, play characters you meet in your dreams, and write stories you heard when you were falling asleep as a kid. I am a force in the world like my father.” – Gregory Siff
Please introduce yourself to the world of Lomography.
Watup Lomography! My name is Gregory Siff. I’m an artist. I paint things, I write things and celebrate life every five minutes.
Can you speak on your transition from actor to full-time artist living in Los Angeles?
I came out to LA a couple years ago and started out acting in movies, commercials and all those jobs that pay you to pretend. Today I get more good times out of painting all day and night and sharing those paintings with friends and the world.
How did you start shooting with film?
I was given a Polaroid 600 camera that my roommate had bought to photograph cars he might get in an accident with. I began snapping shots of LA and my process of making paintings. From there I started ripping up the polaroids and painting over them. Turning them into new forms and seeing the funky results by adding ink to them was fun for me.
I also fell in love with a 3-Colored Pink, Blue and Yellow Holga 120 I saw on eBay. It was purely a shallow buy because the camera looked damn sexy, I had no idea you could do double exposures and colored flashes. Now, I shoot some of my most fav shots with this thing. I have been using her to take portraits of inspirational friends and muses. It is my “Muse Project.” I really like the collection of stories that are being built through photographs and will paint those to companion the photos. All of this prepped me for the Diana F+.
What was it like shooting with the Diana F+?
Carrying this beauty around made me feel like a 1950’s crime photographer! I fully enjoy the Diana’s sharp lines when the focus hits just right and the way she finds the light and dark and runs with it. The extremes are what excite me in a painting, and they do in my photos. The Diana produces shots that carry a mood and I dig that. Some of the black and white shots have a timeless feel, very smoky. I nabbed one of my friend, artist MAR, that reminds me of a pic I saw in the Diana F+ book of my fav artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Also multi-colored gels for the flash kept me experimenting like crazy.
Please share the story behind your favorite photo you took?
I really like the Chateau Marmont shot which was actually taken at the opening MOCA’s REBEL show, where an installation recreation of the hotel was built. The fluorescent text is knife sharp and the darkness looks very fluffy, like you can be lost in it and might want to, which represents Hollywood and the Chateau. I’m proud of that one.
Any advise for aspiring photographers/actors?
Play with everything. Break stuff. Fix stuff. Make mistakes. Fall down. Get up. Fall in love. Tell us all about it.
What’s next for Gregory Siff?
Chocolate and a swim in the ocean.
Check out some of his artwork at the Gallery Brown.
The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.