When it comes to art, Gregory Siff doesn’t mind getting down and dirty. At a recent Art of Elysium fundraiser, Siff unrolled a large canvas across the cement floor (à la Jackson Pollock), and got to work with a technicolor range of spray paint, plus a little gold leaf and some inky, hand-written text. As attendees crowded round and bustled by, the artist circled, crouched, bent, and crawled, covering every inch of space available. He stopped at last, stepped back, sipped from a cocktail—now mostly melted ice, forgotten for the past hour—and smirked at a friend nearby as if they were part of one big inside joke.
If there’s one thing that can be said about Siff, it’s that he has a sense of humor. His latest solo show, Matter of Time, which opens at Gallery Brown in Los Angeles on October 20, demonstrates a profound sense of his surroundings. Siff officially made Los Angeles home in 2009. His latest exhibition explores the ways in which fame and idolatry run wild in a city known for its entertainment, glitz, and celebrities. One image, a murky combination of golden highlights and puce undertones, proclaims in all caps: HERE’S YOUR FUCKING OSCAR.
Siff’s work plays off the unexpected, combining “high” and “low” art forms and various media to produce complex, often messy portraits of his subject matter. The result is surreal, but counter-intuitively produces a sense of déjà vu. Says Siff: “ ..I play characters you meet in your dreams, and I write stories you heard when you were falling asleep as a kid.”