GASTMAN (R. Rock Enterprises)
Los Angeles & New York
GASTMAN specializes within innovative and creative culture, focusing on contemporary art that has transitioned from the external world of street art and graffiti into today’s art marketplace.
GASTMAN serves as a seamless connector of culture and commerce across a variety of mediums. Focusing on contemporary art that has transitioned from the external world and into today’s art marketplace, connecting both emerging & established artists with unique collectors.
About Director & Curator, Roger Gastman
Roger Gastman is a collector, curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist. Gastman spent a majority of his early years with a core group of artists which introduced him directly to the street culture of the graffiti, but most importantly led to him to becoming a trusted mediator between the underground art scenes and mainstream culture. In 1997, Gastman published a graffiti magazine, While You Were Sleeping, from true DIY fashion to a full-fledged magazine, successfully distributing over 80,000 copies per month by 2001. With artist Shepard Fairey, Gastman later founded and co-published Swindle magazine in 2004, and has created over fifty highly sought-after art books since.
Gastman co-curated Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2011, the first national comprehensive survey of graffiti and street art with an attendance of over 250,000. The exhibit granted graffiti and street art an institutional and academic platform, further certifying its credibility next to other prominent genres. With artist/writer Caleb Neelon, Gastman co-authored the Harper Collins book The History of American Graffiti, tracing the evolution of graffiti from its early regional specific days to its present day global reach.
For over ten years before, Gastman researched the life of DC’s most fabled graffiti writer COOL “DISCO” DAN and the culture of DC in the 1980’s. In 2013, Gastman brought it all together in PUMP ME UP: D.C. subculture of the 1980s, an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the release of The Legend of COOL “DISCO” DAN, the feature documentary he co-directed.
Gastman has been involved in several critically acclaimed documentary feature films: Infamy, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop (which earned an Academy Award nomination for best documentary), and the newest film, WALL WRITERS: Graffiti in its Innocence.
Select Press 2011 - 2015
“.. Gastman, 38, has made a career of being the cultural connector between street artists and the art world’s industrial complex of zines, magazines, books, museums, brands and collectors, acting fluidly acting as agent, author, art historian, curator, promoter, and/or brand agency as need dictates.” –Forbes
“...curated by Roger Gastman, so you know there’s the proper level of expertise behind the assembled material.” –Complex
“Writer and former graffiti tagger Roger Gastman has turned his love of the spray arts into a lifelong career.” -The Wall Street Journal
“Gastman is also working to elevate graffiti to fine-art status... he stays plugged in to the scene he cut his teeth on.”-The Washington Post
“Roger Gastman is one of the unsung heroes of graffiti and has been its tireless evangelist.” -Paper Magazine
“The always fascinating, Roger Gastman eloquently illustrates the creative street culture of today in a captivating and charismatic way.” –Juxtapoz
“...hired as the show’s associate curator, has both ironclad credentials as a historian of street art...” -Los Angeles Times