Aaron Rose

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Aaron Rose
Aaron Rose.jpg
Rose in 2008
Occupationdirector, producer, writer, independent curator, artist
Years active1992–present

Aaron Rose is an American film director, artist, exhibition curator and writer. Rose is known as the co-director of Beautiful Losers, a film that focuses on an art movement which includes artists such as Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Steven "Espo" Powers, Chris Johanson, Harmony Korine and Shepard Fairey.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rose grew up in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles and started attending punk and mod shows in the mid 1980s. The artwork of this scene inspired him to seek a career that facilitated creativity and artistic creation. From high school, he was accepted to Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, but dropped out after only one semester. Rose stated later "For me, art school seemed like a death sentence." [2]


Rose moved to New York City in 1989 and after a string of odd jobs, at the age of 21, he opened Alleged Gallery on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side. The gallery would go on to exhibit the works of many young artists from the art, skateboarding, graffiti and fashion worlds. Alleged Gallery eventually grew to have branches in New York City and Tokyo. During this time Rose also held a job at MTV Networks producing and directing on-air promos. In 2005, he published Young Sleek and Full of Hell with Drago.[3] The book is based on the 1990s underground art scene in New York where he collected visuals and testimony from over 100 artists including Mark Gonzales, Ed Templeton, Thomas Campbell, Phil Frost, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Sonic Youth, Terry Richardson. He was co-curator of the Beautiful Losers touring art exhibit,[4] and edited the collected art book[5]—released by Iconoclast and Distributed Art Publishers in 2004—featuring the work and artists of the tour. The exhibition toured the world through 2009.[6] He is also a director of the feature documentary film Beautiful Losers, which premiered at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically in November, 2008.

In 2009, Rose directed a short-form documentary called Become a Microscope - 90 Statements on Sister Corita, with original music by Money Mark and Becky Stark. The 22 minute film tells the story of Sister Mary Corita, the California nun who was also a political artist. In 2010 he completed "Portraits of Braddock", a television movie created for the Independent Film Channel.[7] Rose also directed "Pendarvia", a short documentary on the musical group The Decemberists which was released January, 2011. In 2019 he directed a short documentary Hamburger Eyes which focuses on a tight-knit community of street photographers in San Francisco dedicated to capturing both the unseen and iconic moments of everyday life. He has also directed numerous short films and commercials for television.

Rose is signed as a director with the Los Angeles production company The Directors Bureau which was founded by Roman Coppola and Mike Mills and also represents Wes Anderson, Melodie McDaniel, and Sofia Coppola.[8]

In 2009, he was hired by Wieden+Kennedy to help create WKE (WKEntertainment), a content-driven entertainment channel and production house.[9] At WKE, Rose was the producer of numerous television projects including Califunya, D.I.Y. America, and Don't Move Here, which he also directed.

Rose was an associate curator along with Roger Gastman and Jeffrey Deitch on the museum exhibition "Art in the Streets" which opened at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in April 2011.[10]

In early 2016, Rose co-founded The Conversation, a multi-media art space in Berlin along with curator/gallerist Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer. The project is a progressive gallery space, where concepts in all mediums can come to fruition through a diverse and talented international group of creative protagonists.[11] As an offshoot of this project, Rose established La Rosa Social Club. Conceived as a touring art bar, created by artists, and considered as a social sculpture, the project has been realized in Los Angeles, Sydney and Berlin and continues tour the world.[12]

As a visual artist, Rose has exhibited internationally including Hope Gallery (Los Angeles), Postmasters (New York), Supreme (New York), Colette (Paris), and Dover Street Market (London). He is currently represented by Circleculture Gallery in Berlin.[13] In 2009 Rose was chosen to create a signature shoe model for DC Shoes based on his artwork.[14] He has also created clothing designs for Uniqlo, Nike, and Shepard Fairey's Subliminal brand as well as other boutique apparel collaborations.

Rose is also the founder of Make Something!!, an art education program for teens.

Writing and publishing[edit]

In late 2011, he co-authored (with Brian Roettinger and Mandy Kahn) "Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century Identity Crisis," a book of criticism published by Swiss company JRP-Ringier.[15] Rose's essay for the book, titled "The Death of Subculture" has been described as an impassioned call to arms, urging the next generation of artists to end the collage era by adopting a philosophy of creative innovation. Rose's publishing imprint Alleged Press has released books featuring the art of Ari Marcopoulos, Ed Templeton, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, and Gusmano Cesaretti.[16] He is also co-editor of ANP Quarterly, a free arts magazine published by RVCA.[17]

Rose's journalism writings have been published in Index, i-D, Dazed and Confused, Purple, Self Service, L'Officiel Hommes, Flash Art, and numerous artist monographs and exhibition catalogs.


Selected films[edit]

  • A No Good Day In Tuckertown (2017)
  • Fade to Blue (2016)
  • Bombonice (2015)
  • The Bubble (2015)
  • Soko: Love Letter (2014)
  • Fashion At Work (2014)
  • Cake Walk (2013)
  • Boom Town (2013)
  • New York LA LA LA (2013)
  • The Gallerina (2012)
  • Cat Power: Nothin' But Time (2012)
  • Chris Johanson, The Generic Man (2011)
  • El Mundo Es Tuyo for Opening Ceremony (2010)
  • Wild Goodness (2010)
  • Portraits Of Braddock (2010)
  • Pendarvia (2010)
  • Become A Microscope: 90 Statements On Sister Corita (2009)
  • Beautiful Losers (2008)

Selected books[edit]

  • Gusmano Cesaretti: Fragments of Los Angeles (2013)
  • Collage Culture: Examining The 21st Century Identity Crisis (2012)
  • Barry McGee: THR (2010)
  • Art In The Streets (2010)
  • Mike Mills: Graphics Films (2009)
  • Ed Templeton: Deformer (2008)
  • Harmony Korine: The Collected Fanzines (2008)
  • Chris Johanson: Please Listen I have Something To Tell You About What Is (2007)
  • Beautiful Losers (2006)
  • Ari Marcopoulos: Out & About (2006)
  • Young, Sleek & Full Of Hell (2005)
  • Ed Templeton: Teenage Smokers (1999)
  • Dysfunctional (1999)


  1. ^ Administrator. "Aaron Rose Interview". FECAL FACE DOT COM.
  2. ^ "The Artists - beautiful losers".
  3. ^ Young Sleek and Full of Hell - Aaron Rose's Book Archived August 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Beautiful Losers exhibit press release". Iconoclast. 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  5. ^ "Beautiful Losers artbook". Artbook. 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  6. ^ "Beautiful Losers tour schedule". Iconoclast. 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  7. ^ IFC Official Website - Portraits of Braddock Archived August 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "The Directors Bureau: Aaron Rose Biography". The Directors Bureau. Archived from the original on 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  9. ^ Christine Clarke (July 6, 2009). "Aaron Rose hits the road for Wieden+Kennedy". Boards Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2009-08-26. ...the project was only a small slice of what Rose was brought into Wieden to do. His primary job is to help the agency develop an online media channel. The channel airs original content produced by W+K
  10. ^ "Graffiti and street art show to take over MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in 2011". LA Times Blogs - Culture Monster. 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  11. ^ "Exhibition Chris Johanson - The Conversation | ART at Berlin".
  12. ^ "DIY social club: Aaron Rose's art-filled pop-up bar in downtown LA".
  13. ^ "Selected Works - Aaron Rose - Artists - Circle Culture Gallery". circleculture-gallery.com. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  14. ^ "Aaron Rose DC Artist Project Shoe Series". Hypebeast. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  15. ^ "Collage Culture". Cool Hunting. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  16. ^ "Alleged Press". www.allegedpress.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  17. ^ "ANP Quarterly official website". Archived from the original on 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.

External links[edit]