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Aaron Rose… Makes Something Out of Nothing

Posted by 08 Aug 2009


“BEAUTIFUL LOSERS celebrates the spirit behind one of the most influential cultural moments of a generation.

In the early 1990′s a loose-knit group of like-minded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the “establishment” art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture.

Starring a selection of artists who are considered leaders within this culture, Beautiful Losers focuses on the telling of personal stories. It speaks to themes of what happens when the outside becomes “in” as it explores the creative ethos connecting these artists and today’s youth.”

Beautiful Losers film trailer from beautifullosersfilm on Vimeo.

Aaron Rose founder of the Alleged gallery and director of the film was skyped into the London screening at the ICA after the film for a chat…
What was your motivation for making the film?

We wanted to make a film that came from the inside rather than someone from the outside sensationalise it or tell a slightly different story than what really happened. So the film ended up being a collaboration between myself and all the artists – who then had a say in the final product.

LUDLOW1 Alleged Gallery – Ludlow Street – Lower East Side NYC

Were all the artists up for it straight away?

There was a lot of trickery involved in getting those interviews. Some of the artists were totally cool and then other people just weren’t into it at all and we had to set up trick situations where next thing they knew they were sitting in front of a camera.

Picture 14 Chris Johanson mopping up before his “s.w.p.” exhibition, Prince st. 1998

How old is the oldest footage?

It is going back to 90-91, with some of the earlier gallery footage in 93-94. Alleged gallery actually kicked off in 1992 but we weren’t thinking about footage, I kick myself all the time about that. At the time people were shooting a lot of skate videos, we found at the end of those tapes full of skate tricks was party footage in the gallery, which we used in the movie for all the archival stuff.

Picture 11

Alleged_WashingtonSt Alleged Gallery – Washington Street NYC

Did you have in mind when you started what you wanted the audience to take from the film?

Yes, that was one thing from the beginning for me personally, and everyone that was involved in the movie. We wanted to make something that was inspiring and that was empowering to people that told a story that anybody could relate to, and the fact that it happened to be set in the world of street art was secondary. The important message was you can do anything you want to do as long as you have the motivation to do it and some friends that are willing to help you. That was what we kept going for and that was our checks and balances through out the whole editing process.

9340 Stephen Powers

Do you feel happier working across the arts rather than just focusing on the gallery side of things?

I think so, its something that is very typical of the younger generation. The idea that you don’t need a stick to one thing, you make a magazine, a film, play in a band, have art shows… and its ok. You don’t have to choose a major in life. The access to materials for creating things is so readily available you don’t have to be one thing anymore, its easy to jump around and people just accept that.

Tell us about the workshops you are doing?

The workshops are going great, they are called “Make Something” they came about when we decided to take the small budget we had for promotion of the film and open an art school for high school kids, since the film opened in the US we have taught 2000 kids. We are actually in the process of opening a permanent school house in L.A. – partnering with the Kanye West foundation, he found out about it and is now helping us put it together. So its pretty exciting we are going to have an actual school called “Make Something”.

nike-diy-768672 See video’s of each artists workshop HERE