1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Roger Gastman: I have a large collection of anti-graffiti paraphernalia: pamphlets, signs, pins, tee shirts, etc. A few years ago, Caleb Neelon and I wrote a book for Harper Collins, “The History of American Graffiti” and the endsheet patterns for that book were a collage of the items on this print. Whenever I give someone the book or they see it somewhere, they love the endsheet patterns and want to know more about it and how I got all of the items. I decided to open the files back up and add some color and re-envision the design to create a collage of the anti-graffiti propaganda.
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Roger Gastman: It continues within the Tools of Criminal Mischief series of spray paint cans and markers prints that I’ve been doing with 1xRun.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Roger Gastman: This image was revisited and fine tuned in 2013, but it’s taken years and years of collecting and digging along with close friends sending me stuff. I am always on the hunt for more.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Roger Gastman: Graffiti is super popular and this is a funny take on it. It’s an anti-graffiti poster but graffiti enthusiasts will probably like it. At least I hope they do.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Roger Gastman: I’ve got two dogs that are really expensive and I can use all the help I can get.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Roger Gastman: #streetpizza.
1xRun: You are also one of the creators behind the recent documentary on Cool Disco Dan, for the uninitiated, give us the rundown on Cool Disco Dan and why you chose to do this documentary on him?
Roger Gastman: Joseph Pattisall and I spent twelve years researching and filming the unknown stories of COOL “DISCO” DAN. We had so much material about him and the part of Washington D.C. that goes largely under the radar of mainstream America that we decided to make a feature length documentary film. Cool “Disco” Dan ruled the District back then, his tags were all along the Red Line, across billboards, and walls in every neighborhood. At the peak of his reign, he drew the admiration of police officers, drug lords, politicians, and sheltered suburbanites alike. Nobody knew who COOL “DISCO” DAN was, but when Washingtonians saw his name, they knew they were home. It’s an important story we had to tell.
1xRun: When did you first see a Disco Dan tag and when did you finally meet him?
Roger Gastman: I saw a DAN tags in the late 80s before I even realized what graffiti was. They were everywhere in the city, you couldn’t help but notice them. You didn’t even think of them as graffiti, they were just a signature to the city like a stop sign or a do not walk sign. By 1991, I realized what they were and finally met DAN in early 1993.
1xRun: Where can people get more information on Disco Dan?
Roger Gastman: You can get more info, limited edition screenprints, dvd’s with signed postcards, tee shirts and all sorts of other fun stuff at www.cooldiscodan.com
1xRun: You’re constantly traveling and staying busy, what have you been up to lately and where have you gone recently?
Roger Gastman: I was recently in Hawaii where I visited the Dole Plantation twice, rode a horse there and took amazing photos of myself at the Dole Plantation. I went to Torrance the other day and I dropped a friend off at LAX this morning. Other than that, I’ve been trying to stay around my house as much as possible. Last year was so busy with travel; I’m trying to stay close to home.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Roger Gastman: Paper ephemera for early 80s NYC graffiti shows at Fashion Moda and Fun Gallery.
1xRun: Any upcoming shows or events that you’d like to highlight?
Roger Gastman: THANK YOU X and I have a capsule collection of clothing coming out under the Tools of Criminal Mischief name at the Seventh Letter flagship store in Los Angeles on June 7th, 2014. I have a lot of surprises planned for it!