Roger Gastman was a teenager in Bethesda, Maryland when he first dabbled in graffiti. Passionate about street art as an adult, he became a consulting producer on documentary films like Infamy and Banksy’s Exit through the Gift Shop. He wrote the book on graffiti, The History of American Graffiti (HarperCollins, 2011) and that same year curated the wildly successful exhibition Art in the Street at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles which drew the highest exhibition attendance in the museum’s history. His next curatorial gig is Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Feb 23-April 7, 2013).
Gastman also knows how to draw in new business. As founder of R. Rock Enterprises, Gastman offers clients like Coca-Cola, Heineken, M&Ms, and, ahem, HarperCollins to “design cutting-edge graphics and logos for brands seeking to communicate with a progressive, art-savvy audience.” His next documentary will explore the counterculture fan base of Hello Kitty, the iconic brand of R. Rock’s client Sanrio.