[F]ashion and art have a history, especially when it comes to disruptive artists who operate beyond the gallery. The indelible influence of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Peter Savile is instantly recognizable in the modern fashion scene. Designers from Jeremy Scott at Moschino to Raf Simons and Helmut Lang have translated the work of great artists directly into their collections and campaigns. So, too, has Anthony Vaccarrello at Saint Laurent who this season lifted the work of LA-artist Gregory Siff and presented it on a black sweater. The image, “a self-portrait of sorts” according to Siff, is a sketch of a good-looking gentleman. Beneath, the descriptor “handsome” is written in scruffy hand.
In the months before he met Vaccarello at Art Basel Miami Beach, Siff had already found an affinity with the brand – he’d been spray-painting over Saint Laurent billboards around LA. That uninvited collab swiftly became official though after the artist sent the designer a scarf printed with his artwork and was subsequently asked if he’d release his work to be featured in Vaccarello’s AW17 collection. The rest is history.
We caught up with Gregory to find out how art changes when it’s being worn.
Which people, objects and experiences do you seek to recreate in your art?
When I’m painting I’m capturing memories of people I love and moments that have happened or that I want to happen on the canvas. It’s a diary of what has meaning in life.
You mix a lot of symbols of innocence into your work alongside more adult themes, what feeling do you hope this inspires?
I just want my work to make you feel good. Duality inspires a more exciting experience for you to uncover what is really there.
Where do you seek your inspiration? Which media play the strongest roles in your creative process?
I find my inspiration in the way it feels to be an aging man. Music is the gasoline for the brush. From verbose rap to strings. It is more powerful than Google to get you to where you need to create.
You’ve recently collaborated with Saint Laurent. Who does the “Handsome” figure represent? Do you feel that applying your work to clothing alters its meaning at all?
It is a self-portrait of sorts and also an affirmation of cool. The art carries the same meaning but comes off with a different energy when it is worn and it moves with the person wearing it.
Do you have any more collaborations planned? Where and when can we see more of your work?
The Dream Hotel Hollywood. I’m doing a residency on site there where I will be working and exhibiting out of a very cool space which will be a Studio meets Gallery meets dope goods experience. I will share the space with my manager and her art management company “4AM Los Angeles”. It’s exciting to share the work with our city and engage in what art means to us.