Gastman was born in Canton, Ohio and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, where he launched While You Were Sleeping Magazine in 1997 at the age of 19. In 2001, Gastman published Free Agents: A History of Washington, DC Graffiti on Soft Skull Press. It was the first of his 60 books to date on the subject, including The History of American Graffiti (HarperCollins), which PBS states "comprehensively documents the evolution of this often controversial art movement across the United States."
In 2004, Gastman moved to Los Angeles and published the pop culture quarterly Swindle Magazine with artist Shepard Fairey. In 2005, he produced graffiti movie Infamy with director Doug Pray. He then consulted on the Mr. Brainwash show Life is Beautiful. He was also a consulting producer on the Academy Award-nominated Banksy-produced documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. He co-curated the 2011 MOCA show Art in The Streets with Jeffrey Deitch and Aaron Rose, showing artists RISK, Barry McGee, Banksy, Os Gemeos, Shepard Fairey, and Mister Cartoon, among others, while setting all-time attendance records. In 2013, Gastman produced The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan documentary film, narrated by Henry Rollins. It premiered at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring, MD accompanied by the book Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s along with an exhibit of the same name at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He produced and directed Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence, a documentary film about 60s and 70s-era graffiti, narrated by John Waters. He has written and published extensively on the subjects of street art and graffiti.
- Wall Writers - Director / Executive Producer, 2015
- The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan - Executive Producer, 2012
- Exit Through the Gift Shop - Consulting Producer, 2010
- Infamy - Supervising Producer, 2005
- Before and Further, DabsMyla, Modernica, Los Angeles 2015
- Hello Kitty Con for Sanrio, MOCA, Los Angeles 2014
- Tools of Criminal Mischief, The Seventh Letter Gallery, Los Angeles 2014
- Cruel Summer, Jonathon Levine Gallery, New York 2014
- Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980's, Corcoran Museum, Washington D.C., 2013
- Art in the Streets, MOCA, Los Angeles 2011
- 9:30: A Time and a Place, compiled by Gastman, R. Rock Enterprises, 2016
- Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence, compiled by Gastman with Forward by Barry McGee, Gingko Press, 2015
- Let There Be Gwar (2015), compiled by Bob Gorman & Gastman, Gingko Press, 2015
- Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s, compiled by Gastman with Iley Brown, Caleb Neelon & Joseph Pattisall, Corcoran Gallery of Art & Design, 2013
- Hello Kitty: Hello Art. Works of Art Inspired by Sanrio Characters, compiled by Gastman, Zio Fulcher and Jamie Rivadeneira, Abrams, 2012
- The Worst of While You Were Sleeping by Gastman, Schiffer Books, 2012
- Art in the Streets, Compiled by Gastman, Jeffrey Deitch and Aaron Rose, Skira Rizzoli/MOCA, 2011
- The History of American Graffiti by Gastman and Caleb Neelon, HarperCollins, 2010. ISBN 978-0061698781. With a foreword by TAKI 183.
- Small Gift: Celebrating 50 Years of Sanrio, Abrams, 2010
- Juxtapoz Illustration; Juxtapoz Tattoo; Juxtapoz Poster Art; Juxtapoz Car Culture, compiled by Gastman, Gingko Press, 2008-2009
- Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley, by Brendan Mullen with Gastman, Gingko Press, 2007
- Street World: Urban Art & Culture From Five Continents, by Gastman, Caleb Neelon and Anthony Smyrski, US Edition Abrams, 2007; UK edition Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2007; Spanish edition, Oceano, 2007; French edition Pyramid, 2007; German edition National Geographic, 2007.
- Freight Train Graffiti by Gastman, Darin Rowland and Ian Sattler, Abrams, 2006; UK edition Thames & Hudson, 2006
- Morning Wood, compiled by Gastman, Gingko Press, 2003
- Free Agents: A History of Washington, DC Graffiti, compiled by Gastman, R. Rock Enterprises & Soft Skull Press, 2001
- Martinez, Alanna. "Hello Kitty as Muse: Curator Roger Gastman Culls Artistic Odes to the Iconic Cat". Blouin. Blouin Corp. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Teicholz, Tom (15 Dec 2015). "Art of the Street". Forbes Media. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- Nelson, Steffie. "Tag He's It". newyorktimes.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Browne, Tiffany. "Roger Gastman to Talk Graffiti on Display Inside (But Not Outside) the Corcoran". Washington City Paper. CL Washington, Inc. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Amazon.com: roger gastman: Books". www.amazon.com.
- De Melker, Saskia. "'The History of American Graffiti:' From Subway Car to Gallery". pbs.org. Newshour Productions, LLC. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Media., Helium Digital. "Doug Pray Director". dougpray.com.
- Leopold, Shelley. "Mr. Brainwash Bombs LA". LA Weekly. LA Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "83rd Academy Awards 2011". Oscars.org. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Yoo, Alice. "Art in the Streets Breaks MOCA's Attendance Record". My Modern Met. My Modern Met. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Buckwalter, Ian. "Spray of Reckoning: How Cool "Disco" Dan Became a D.C. Mascot". Washington City Paper. CL Washington, Inc. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Essner, Dean. "A New Documentary Traces the Rise and Commercialization of Graffiti Art". Washingtonian Magazine. Washingtonian Media, Inc. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Gastman, Roger (28 June 2012). "The Worst of While You Were Sleeping". Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. – via Amazon.