Last night on 11.11.11 the street artist Gregory Siff had an opening for some of his new works at the historic La Founderie in Echo Park, Los Angeles. After walking around the gallery for only 5 minutes I was already amazed with the guys style and humor. To give a brief summary of the themes that run throughout much of what he paints- first off, he clearly has a casual relationship with boxes(no pun intended) as these little squares run consistently in many of his works. Secondly, Gregory has an incredible wit, poignant yet unassuming, simple yet highly entertaining and extremely passionate. Whether is was the differently labeled stickers of which I obtained one- my personal favorite- “I’ve Made Mistakes, But I’ve Also Made People Smile Too”- or the way in which he takes a simplistic face and adjusts it only slightly to re-create it into a “new person”, overall he is clearly very talented and got a great outlook on life! To quote the man himself, “You will lose and lose, don’t stop, one day you will win.”- Gregory Siff. The quote is something everyone can believe and I think on a very personal level, as soon as you can admit it to yourself- the point is you have already won.
One other thing I’d like to say about street art and Siffs style especially is the value of impulsiveness and having no regrets. It’s clear when you look at his work, as is true with many other street artists, that as they create something its about being confident in the concept and not worrying about the small details, ie. paint dripping, an imperfect line drawn, instead the point is to communicate a near compulsive artistic expression with decisions on how to move forward for each work constantly changing while never looking back.
So I was fascinated by this piece in particular from the moment I saw it. Obviously, on a literal level there is no greater joy than the man’s birth of his son so to consider it a “win” is to put it lightly. But anyways, aside from the unbelievable and beautiful honesty of the piece, while I was looking at it, this kid comes up to me and says, “do you like it?” “I go, ya I love it.” he says, “well the baby, thats me.” We ended up talking for a while about how he knew Siff and loved art and I just thought it was a really cool little aside.
Here’s a quick interview on the guy which more than anything just shows his passion for art and the way he thinks.
If you want to check out his site for updates on what G has been doing click here: Gregory Siff has a heart.
Took a trip deep into downtown LA last night to go check out 80/20’s LA Canvas event. Overall, I must say it was pretty awesome. Incredible art, open bar, killer dj, and fun giveaways. Not only did I get to press my own shirt (as seen below) but the show was also quite interactive. I completed my first “tag” ever with a spray paint can, contributed to a Steve Jobs artwork by making a sad mac face haha, and got to watch some incredibly talented street artists develop their works in front of my eyes.
Just wanted to say after only a week or so of working on my blog I can’t explain how excited I am about the interest in street art thats building within me. On a very personal level, I have always wanted to connect to art but through a lack of well… natural talent been unable to do so. While I may of played the trumpet in middle school, been crafty in ceramics, and did in fact wield some artistic craftsmanship while building structures for themed parties during college, I will say that none of those pursuits even scratched the surface of the connectivity I believe will come from developing this new found interest- str8art.
On Tuesday I dropped by the Lab Art exhibition to talk with the owner/curator about his relationship with the street artists whose works are currently on display on in his gallery.
Lab Art Gallery photos:
What I found most fascinating was the lack of credit by which most of these artists choose to approach their craft. Their’s no slap on the back, “hey, great job man”. No toast of recognition. Instead, these artists pride themselves on their elusiveness, hushed-up and undefined artistic endeavors; things created by near mystic characters known only by their “street name”. While this is in part because these artists are in fact criminals and subject to their jurisprudence for all the crimes they’ve committed defacing property, I think it also intertwines very nicely with the thematic values of the movement. Such values as the freedom of expression, temporary nature of all things, humbleness rather than egotism. It’s about letting ones work speak louder than their words and their personality shine through the ironies their works expose. And at the end of the day, whether the piece makes you chuckle, cringe, or gasp is all still beautiful. For me however, especially more recently, I just get a good feeling.
One final thing, similar to the way street art is best found by keep an ever-attentive eye, the desire to expose oneself to the culture has led me to find out about some amazingly interesting upcoming events. Tonight I’m excited to attend a Thrillist sponsored event: Thrillist Art Crawl | Thrillist
Then tomorrow I can’t wait to go see what this is event being put on by LA Canvas is all about. LA CANVAS 80//20
I mean its in a warehouse, open bar, tons of street artists work, what more could I ask for!
Be sure to update next week with pictures and info on the various events including their artwork, vibe, and overall intrigue.
Mr. Brainwash’s new community art project is slated to open in late October. If you’ve seen “Exit through the Gift Shop” then you know this character for the malleable, near living art-piece that Banksy so incredibly manufactured him into as that documentary developed. The film Exit through the Gift shop poses Thierry Guetta as a bumbling, fly by the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy who winds up pulling together one of the most excessive art shows Los Angeles had seen for quite some time. While the documentary ironically exposes the key ingredient to making art sell is in fact just hype… one can only imagine what kind of pieces Mr. Brainwash has got in store at this new exhibit. After speaking with one art aficionado and asking for a comment on Mr. Brainwashes opening he said, “From what I hear, there are all these incredible street artists work plastered throughout the space… then in the back is all of Mr. Brainwash’s work. What does that say to you about where the guy holds himself in relation to other artists. Is he the master or the puppet?”
For more information on the Exit Through the Gift Shop conclusions/ trying to understand how not to get brainwashed haha… i suggest reading this article.
Street Artists kill it as they adapt some sweet looking fixie bikes at this new gallery. Bike Company: Sole Bicycles. ya heard of them? if not check out their website: Solé Bicycle Co: Fixed Gear Bikes, Single Speed Bicycles, Fixies, Track Bikes, Rims, & More.