This past weekend, acclaimed multimedia artist Gregory Siff debuted his new collection of artwork in his DTLA studio. The series is sentimentally named Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man, inspired by Siff’s beloved childhood neighborhood ice cream man, Gus. The collection is strong in it’s purpose to bring happiness and a nostalgic sense of simpler times to its viewers. It will take you on a journey to the days when hearing the sound of melodic bells in the distance was enough to fill your heart with joy and anticipation. Gregory has taken the place of Gus for those of us who have outgrown certain childhood follies, delving out visual treats for all.
Upon entering the venue,we were greeted by a large van, donated by Mercedes-Benz (the show is also sponsored by the brand), covered in hand painted designs of sticker-like images, icons, expressions and caricatures. The van was not only one of the main pieces in the collection, but it also doubled as an actual ice cream truck, stocked with coolers chockfull of king cones, Klondike bars, orange cream pops and more. Talk about a sweet entrance.
We managed to sneak in a few moments with the man of the hour, who walked amongst the crowd, taking in the atmosphere with a pensive look and a gracious smile. Stopping periodically to take selfies with fans and dance breaks by the DJ booth, he was more than willing to interact with all of his supporters. We chit-chatted for a while about our favorite pieces and his process. Siff’s approach to his work is as one would imagine such an honest exhibit to come about: through a blank canvas with no intended outcome. The series includes more than 30 pieces, several of them being collaborations with fellow artist Michael Johnson, and took Gregory about a year and a half to complete it.
All of the works shared a similar childlike quirkiness enveloped by a looming sense of maturity and the darkness that comes along with it. Growing up hasn’t always been fun and games yet Siff’s newest collection shows us all that it’s perfectly fine to let our inner child out to play and tune out all of that adult noise.
The exhibit will be for show June 10th through July 31st at:
422 S. Alameda St. 90013.
More info here: gregorysiff.com