An Interview With Pose by Roger Gastman for JUXTAPOZ Magazine

November 19 2011 . 08:05pm

With POSE opening a solo show, White Wash, (with KC Ortiz) at Known Gallery this Saturday, November 19, we asked contributing writer Roger Gastman to have a conversation with the Chicago-based artist. And he did.
Aren’t you all sick of me talking to POSE? I know I am. You know what’s awesome? Dominos commercials with the dressed up walrus at the end are awesome. I wish their pizza was as awesome as the walrus. Pizza in LA not so great – GINOS East in Chicago is great! POSE – bring me a pizza! —Roger Gastman

You use to be really cool – go to jail, sleep in bushes – you know stuff like that. You kind of suck now. You call me with real life problems. WTF happened?
Yeah oddly enough I’ve been working really hard on sucking the past few years with the whole daddy, family, responsibility, productivity thing. It’s been going well, really well. Things have been so solid that I’m thinking about spicing things up in 2012… Possible bush tours, jail time, drugs, you know, get back to my roots and fuck my shit up a bunch, maybe even get the ol’ EBT card working again, the possibilities are endless. But seriously Rog, all good things are wild and free. Nothing gold can stay.

Tell me about the process of painting the Plexiglass pieces? I know you learned the skill from graffiti, but why cause yourself all the stress? You are indoors!
The fun thing about graff is the challenges are never ending. “How do I get up, get good, get in there, get over, get better, go bigger, not get caught, etc, ect.” It goes on and on, which is why it’s so electrifying and totally consumes your life. I guess I am still addicted to new challenges of diving into the unknown and trying to concurring new things. It’s incredibly gratifying. I always try to create new challenges for myself with process and medium whether in the studio or on the street. But yeah, the process of painting completely backwards, definitely made me second guess the self-imposed stress and frustration. I’m happy with the end result, but the process wasn’t that buttery.

You spend A LOT of time traveling to paint on walls. What are a few good travel tips? And which cities have the best alleys?
Decide in advance if you want a really solid tour guide or if you want to experience and discover everything complexly on your own. I feel it’s going to be a much better experience if you commit to one or the other and don’t half step in between. Lets see what else, don’t be scared. Although you think you might be back and have another opportunity at it you probably won’t, so do it while you can. Just cause the locals love it definitely doesn’t mean its good.

Chicago has the best alleys period. They are hyper defined and reminiscent of any comic book depiction of an alley. On the other hand, many places I travel to outside of the U.S. the line between alley and street gets super blurred. Alleys get used like major streets and streets are the size of bike paths, it’s pure chaos. Thank you for reminding me how interesting alleys are – I’m going to continue my research and get back to you in a few years.

If this were a hip-hop or graff mag interview circa 1999, I would ask you for shout outs – well it’s 2011, gimmie 3 shout outs and why, your family doesn’t count. Oh and KC Ortiz has to be one of them.
Hmmmm, I have too many people to shout out. Only 3 makes it really serious and hurts feelings, and you already shouted out KC for me so I’m gonna’ shout out my 3 favorite things this week. “Peace to (spray painted on a scroll) any Oldsmobile Cutlass made between the late 1960’s and late 1980’s (Cutty Club 4 ever), tax free money and San Pellegrino Aranciata.

I could totally be wrong here, cuz I suck at research, but it looks like at least a few of your paintings for White Wash have mushrooms in them? What the FUCK is this?
To me, mushrooms (especially when they are depicted in a cartoon way) are one of those universal symbols that mean all sorts of things to different people. They are all over my daughter’s room (on pillows, posters, books etc) and seemingly convey a really cute approachable message. Since they grow in the wild, they also signify really hard to find over grown places where nature has been less tampered with. Which not only makes me think of discovering these secluded untapped places, but also plays into the analogy for White Wash.

Discovering a real mushroom in the wild is like finding some incredible piece of graffiti in the city that still exists. Graffiti is a wild forest and the buff is deforestation. It’s probably clear from my strange analogy and answer as a whole that there is another signifier for mushrooms, their psychedelic properties. Since a lot of the paintings for White Wash are drawing on my youth, inevitably drugs creep in as a heavy part of it. Certain events will be with you forever and end up infiltrating your work. As many others have, I went on a really strange long trip one time as a kid that ended up in lifelong OCD, mild schizophrenia and all sorts of other weirdness. So I guess boomers just stuck with me.


POSE and KC ORTIZ | White Wash
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Opening Reception Saturday, November 19, 2011 from – 11pm
On View November 19 -December 10, 2011

+ Share this post

TAKI 183 at History of American Graffiti book signing

July 18 2011 . 03:40pm

Find out more at:

+ Share this post

BLURRING THE LINES at CHG opening photos | Kohshin Finley

May 02 2011 . 04:17pm


+ Share this post


April 29 2011 . 03:01pm

featuring: FREEDOM, CRASH & RISK | curator Roger Gastman

Opening: 7-10pm

Chris Pape / FREEDOM
Born in 1960, Chris Pape began painting trains as a teenager in New York, and in 1979, he adopted his world-famous moniker FREEDOM. Pape began exhibiting in galleries in the early 80s showing with CRASH, Jean Michel Basquiat, FUTURA and others. In 1989, with the emergence of the “Mole People”, he chose to abandon his gallery career and focus on painting and drawing the homeless known as the Freedom Tunnel series.  In 1996 the tunnel was closed off and the artist painted his final work titled “Buy American”. Considered by many to be the leading archivist of the New York subway graffiti movement, Pape reemerged as an author and filmmaker, continuing to paint commissions based on the eclectic works in the Freedom Tunnel for collectors worldwide.

John Matos / CRASH
Growing up in the Bronx, John Matos began his career at the early age of 13. He was first noticed through his murals on subway cars and dilapidated buildings. As he got older, he transferred his art from the street to canvases and has exhibited his work in museums worldwide. In 1996 Matos painted a signature Stratocaster for musician Eric Clapton and gave it to the artist as a gift. Clapton used this guitar throughout his 2001 tour. In total Matos has created five guitars for Clapton and was commissioned by Fender Musical Instruments for 50 guitars he titled the “Crashocasters.” Today Matos is not only recognized as a fine artist, he is also regarded as a pioneer of the graffiti movement. Matos’ work is included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn as well as private collections worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit

Kelly Graval / RISK
In a career spanning 29 years, RISK has impacted the evolution of graffiti as an art form in Los Angeles and worldwide. RISK gained major notoriety for his unique style and pushed the limits of graffiti further than any writer in L.A. had before: He was one of the first writers in Southern California to paint freight trains, and he pioneered writing on “heavens,” or freeway overpasses. At the peak of his career he took graffiti from the streets and into the gallery with the launch of the Third Rail series of art shows, and later parlayed the name into the first authentic line of graffiti inspired clothing. RISK has continued to work on numerous Hollywood projects for movie and music video sets, including the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and videos for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Bad Religion and Michael Jackson. Today, RISK is still involved with graffiti, surrounding himself with writers and supporting them in their art, and exhibiting at galleries and museums worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit

Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

+ Share this post

The History of American Graffiti video interview

April 06 2011 . 02:16am

Art Beat talks to Caleb Neelon and Roger Gastman, authors of "The History of American Graffiti," a book that charts the history of the art form in the United States.

+ Share this post