Rebel Radio Ep. 31: Roger Gastman - Working with Banksy & Shepard Fairey
Roger Gastman has worked with Bansky and Shepard Fairey. You have not.
How a punk rock kid became the world’s expert in graffiti and street art.
If you still think graffiti is just kids defiling your neighborhood, you need to get with the times. Graffiti, and its sibling, “street art,” have infiltrated high-end galleries, museums, and private collections, with top artists’ work selling for five-to-six figures.
Roger Gastman is the man behind a lot of that evolution. As a magazine publisher (While You Were Sleeping; Swindle), documentary producer (Exit from the Gift Shop; The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan), author (Amazon shows 115 results for “Roger Gastman” under books, including The History of American Graffiti and Hello Kitty, Hello Art), and curator (many, many shows, including MOCA’s Art in the Streets — the largest graffiti exhibit in America), Roger has done more than almost anyone alive to raise the profile of graffiti.
In our interview, we get into the ins and outs of what it takes to build a business out of selling art, the ways the art world is changing, and the ways art is changing the world (see what I did there?). He explains why he won’t sell art to some people, and why graffiti is not one of the four elements of hip-hop.