Roger Gastman is a collector, curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist. He started writing graffiti as a teenager in Bethesda, Maryland, and later parlayed his love for it into a legitimate career, becoming a trusted mediator between the underground art scenes and mainstream culture. He founded and co-published Swindle magazine as well as many highly sought-after art books. As the founder and creative director of R. Rock Enterprises, he has transformed graffiti and street artists into internationally recognized stars. Gastman has been involved in critically acclaimed documentaries: Infamy, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop (which earned an Academy Award nomination for best documentary), The Legend of COOL “DISCO” DAN and WALL WRITERS. He co-authored The History of American Graffiti, co-curated the groundbreaking MoCA Los Angeles’ Art in the Streets exhibit, curated PUMP ME UP: D.C. subculture of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Wall Writers at the Denver MCA. Gastman remains a maverick in brand consulting for huge international companies today and works tirelessly to cement art and graffiti into the contemporary landscape.
SELECTED RECENT PROJECTS
- 2015 - Producer, director: Wall Writers, narrated by John Waters, a recent documentary release about the first graffiti writers active from 1967 to 1973, debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Smithsonian Institute and Yerba Buena, San Francisco, January 2016
- 2014 – Creative lead, artist liaison: Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Event: Hello Kitty Con, the first retrospective of the brand in the world
- 2013 – Producer, director: The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan, narrated by Henry Rollins, touring nationally
- 2013 - Curator: Pump Me Up: DC subculture in the 1980s, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
- 2011 – Co-curator: Art in the Streets, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles with Jeffrey Deitch and Aaron Rose
- 2011 – Producer, on-camera expert: Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy’s Oscar-nominated film