Roger Gastman | TOOLS OF CRIMINAL MISCHIEF opens June 7, 2014 at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery

June 04 2014 . 09:38am


TOOLS OF CRIMINAL MISCHIEF  represents the humor and independence of the underground through the methods of misconduct and delinquency. TOCM expresses the artistic freedom of deviant behavior in a “tongue in cheek” style. The philosophy of non-conformity is an attitude rich in history and fun. The TOCM aesthetic shines a light on the irony and stigma that is often associated with a lifestyle people infatuate and romanticize. It is the method behind the brilliant and hilarious madness of the lawbreaker.

Roger Gastman is a collector, curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist. This special selection of Gastman’s private collection of TOCM artwork and ephemera conceptually represents the way civil disobedience is practiced and how these methods have influenced artists and society. The danger, history, process, propaganda, spray cans, magic markers, local styles, Internet curiosities and things you can’t un-see are just a few parts of this naughtiness that Roger Gastman fixates on. The oddities and rarities of the ideas executed are what excite him -especially pedestrian graffiti and the strange pop culture references. This is his personal collection that he’s handpicked over several years and for the first time it will be exhibited and on sale to the public.

Highlights of the collection span from a wall of 30+ anti-graffiti signage, strange Craig’s List ads, anti-drug photographs and propaganda, original graffiti Garbage Pail Kids cards from around the world, spray paint can prints, and awall of unusual original and found art significant to Gastman’s personal tastes.

To celebrate this exhibition, Gastman and artist THANK YOU X collaborated on a TOCM capsule collection of merchandise (t-shirts, tanks, socks, hats, and more) that The Seventh Letter will release and have available for sale at their Flagship Store, select retailers, and online at

About Roger Gastman:
Roger Gastman began 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 published two respected pop-culture magazines—While You Were Sleeping and Swindle (co-publisher with Shepard Fairey)—as well as more than 30 highly sought-after art books. Gastman served as consulting producer for Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop,which earned an Academy Award nomination for best documentary. In 2013, Harper Collins released Gastman’s The History of American Graffiti—the definitive story behind the most influential art form in the last 100 years—and Jeffrey Deitch asked him to co-curate Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, which is the first comprehensive U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. He curated PUMP ME UP: D.C. subculture of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2013 and produced the companion documentary narrated by Henry Rollins, The Legend of COOL “DISCO” DAN, an educational film about D.C. culture and their most prolific graffiti artist. He’s currently directing a documentary for Sanrio/Hello Kitty on the history of the brand and its fans.

THANK YOU X became well known on the streets of Los Angeles for his large iconic Warhol wheat paste. Signing THANK YOU X underneath in a gesture of anonymous gratitude for Warhol’s aesthetic of rebellious integrity, the name accidentally became the artist’s identity. Inspired by the pop tropes and bright colors of that NYC art scene, THANK YOU X has exhibited paintings and sculptures in London, Los Angeles, and in New York at the Hello Kitty Hello Art show. He’s created large installations at the Sundance Film Festival, painted a custom car for Lexus, and is collected by celebrities like Demi Moore and Paul McCartney. THANK YOU X is also a DJ/producer and loves pizza more than anyone.

The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery
346 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
OPENING RECEPTION: June 7, 2014 | 8-11pm
Exhibit runs through June 21, 2014

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TIM CONLON | ONE TRACK MIND opens June 7, 2014 at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery

June 04 2014 . 09:37am


One Track Mind pays homage to Conlon’s twenty-year obsession with freight train graffiti. In this exhibition, Conlon will showcase a new series of his Blank Canvas works which include life-size aerosol paintings of aged freight cars and weathered model trains featuring scaled-to-size graffiti. About this collection of works, Conlon says, “I discovered this art form when I was living in Baltimore and the nationwide freight train graffiti scene was just emerging. Because Baltimore is one of the biggest port cities on the east coast, commercial cargo regularly arrived on large ships in Baltimore Harbor and was then transferred to freight trains headed toward larger cities like Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Train cars were everywhere and, in many ways, served as a revolving art gallery for graffiti and train lovers alike.” In the years since, many train companies have merged or closed, but the images of the trains, their brands, and their graffiti have stayed with Conlon. Fascinated by the logos, typography, and color schemes of freight trains old and new, One Track Mind recreates and showcases some of his favorites.

Tim Conlon is an artist living and working in Washington. He grew up just south of D.C., and is best known for large-scale murals, graffiti art, sculpture and works on canvas. He was one of two aerosol artists featured in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s 2008 exhibition, RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture. In 2011, he was featured and curated the G scale train exhibit in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s, Art in The Streets survey of graffiti and street art. His Blank Canvas train paintings are in multiple collections, including the Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. Conlon has recently exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., along with shows and projects in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Paris, Bordeaux and Berlin.

The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery
346 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
OPENING RECEPTION: June 7, 2014 | 8-11pm
Exhibit runs through June 21, 2014

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Closing Reception | Cept / Thank You X / Remio / Duel

August 07 2013 . 10:13pm


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Opening Reception Photos | Cept and Thank You X | “Mind in Transit”

August 01 2013 . 10:52pm

Warning: Illegal string offset 'link' in /nfs/c05/h05/mnt/159043/domains/ on line 516

Photos By: Yuri Hasegawa


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Cept interview with Roger Gastman from Juxtapoz Magazine

July 27 2013 . 05:32am


This Saturday, July 27, former Juxtapoz featured artist, Mike Ballard aka CEPT, will open a new solo show, Mind In Transit, at Known Gallery in Los Angeles. We had good friend Roger Gastman interview and say a few kind words about the UK-based CEPT, who will be celebrating his very first United States exhibition.
I’ve known CEPT since I was a teenager. I slept on his floor in London and painted graffiti with him – hell he introduced me to EINE. My Girlfriend at the time was real pissed at me because I went to see him and do vandalism instead of go to prom with her. Oh well. I was a fan of CEPT’s graffiti and have become a fan of his art. I am happy to help him debut his work in Los Angeles this weekend at Known Gallery. Come check it out! —Roger Gastman

RG: First off, I want to make sure people reading this know your history – you didn’t just get into graffiti and art last year because it was trendy right?

I’ve been writing since 1986, after seeing Subway Art. I became obsessed and just wrote and wrote, traveled, met a lot of good people, and just kept painting, trying to get better and do more. I had was already into drawing…but graffiti changed everything,

RG:You have been making a living as an artist now for several years in the UK – what made you decide to take on America?

I’ve been wanting to do a show here for a while, and have been doing a lot of shows in in the UK, so it was just a matter of timing, and getting some new work together. Of course it’s good to take your work to new audiences. I wanted to come here and let people know how I do, and to see the new progression in my work. I never want to stand still for too long, I’m always thinking to push my stuff forward and try and take it next level. And LA is a super fresh place, and Known Gallery is a great space also, so I’m stoked to be showing here.

RG: Seems like you have been enjoying LA a lot so far? What are a few of your best experiences to date?

Yeah LA is off the hook, it’s been 16 years since I was here last. The best time back then was getting to paint Motor yard with AWR. Now this time round, it’s just the whole LA vibe, everyone seems more chilled and happy, the weather is great, and those Californian girls… wow, The Beach Boys weren’t lying bout that.

RG: You work in several different mediums – and for this show made some kick ass pieces from many. What did you make and why?

I’d been working a lot lately on new oil paintings in London and really wanted to show them, so I brought them with me and some new collages and prints. I brought these works with me as I think it showcases the range of styles that I’m working with. It shows where my work is heading to, definitely more oil paintings and figurative stuff, I have a long way to go with them, but I’m happy with the way things are progressing. It’s at the other end of the scale from painting graffiti, in terms of time, mixing, fades etc, a new discipline. I wanna’ learn new stuff.

RG: You have a series of 20 screen prints, all different colors – of some hippie yoga thing. I have gotten past that and think it’s pretty good looking. Have you turned into a hippie?

Haha, you like that one right. No I’m not a hippie, I do yoga, but that doesn’t make me a hippy. It’s good for you, keeps you strong, in shape and flexible. These prints are a brand new set I made for LA, they’re like some tripped out psychedelic poster. I love the image, I just remixed it with some funk.

RG: Why should people come out and see the show and just not watch it on Instagram?

People should take there heads out of there fucking phones and live life properly, not through pixels, come and see the work in the flesh and up close. Instagram is never going to do any paintings justice, and Known Gallery is a huge space so you have to see the work laid out and in context. You can’t feel the vibe through your phone.

The exhibition runs through August 10, 2013. Mind In Transit Featuring CEPT & THANK YOU X opens this Saturday July 27, at Known Gallery. Hours are 8-11pm. REMIO and DUEL are in the project rooms. Be there.


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