Aaron Rose and Beautiful Losers
Thanks to [Gelati Motel](http://www.gelatimotel.com) we are happy to present you one of the independent art curators we like most, Aaron Rose.
The fourth edition of his exhibition Bautiful Losers will open in Milano in a few days, for more infos check the [Triennale](http://www.triennale.it) website, the Italian [Beautiful Losers](http://www.beautifullosers.it), [Iconoclast USA](http://www.iconoclastusa.com) for the catalogue (photos of the catalogue [here](http://youworkforthem.com/product.php?sku=P0359)).
For ten years (1992-2002) Aaron Rose worked as director of the highly influential Alleged Gallery in New York. The gallery was responsible for breaking the careers of many visual artists who are now considered the leading edge of contemporary art, including Mark Gonzales, Ed Templeton, Chris Johanson, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Thomas Campbell and Phil Frost. Rose worked as a producer for MTV on-air promotions for two years and produced short films for artists and filmmakers such as Mark Gonzales, Rita Ackermann, Harmony Korine and Mike Mills. In the past year has been working as a freelance curator, organizing gallery shows in America and Europe. His first large-scale museum exhibition Beautiful Losers will travel till 2007.
**Could you try to draw the urban environment where the beautiful losers are from? Which is the role of this global urban periphery where they work? **
It is important to understand that while many of the influences of the artists included in Beautiful Losers are urban, many of the artists actually were raised in suburban environments. This is a common misconception. People misconstrue the word “influence”. The late-1980’s and early 1990’s were a time of great cross pollenization between the East (Hip Hop/Graffiti) and West (Punk/Skateboarding) coasts of the US and the urban/suburban environments. This was the beginning of the cultural movement from which this art spawned. So to ask me to describe a landscape is difficult. As far as its role in society I believe it that particular moment in time has been perhaps the most important cultural moment of the last 30 years. Everything from music, fashion, film, marketing, as well as art have been influenced.
**So, which are the three most interesting cultural episodes of this year? **
Difficult to say. I would say perhaps that the psychedelicization of the young art world for sure. Of course this has been brewing for a few years now, but it seems like 2005 was the year of the giant geometric swirl from the cool kids. Blame it on artists like Jim Drain, Dear Raindrop and musicians like Animal Collective I suppose. I saw it from coast to coast. Can’t really figure it out yet. Seems like all of the aesthetics of the 1960s with none of the philosophy. Whatever, at least it beat out photorealism. I thought that was next. Thank god for that! Bearded men also made a huge resurgence this year. I’m not talking about stubble. I’m talking about big beards…like on a wizard. Seems I couldn’t go any opening, concert or party this year without seeing a bunch of “Beard Guys.” All the Mexican kids in LA have discovered death rock and have dropped their gangster dickies in favour of tight black jeans and studded belts. Their two favourite bands are Morrissey and The Misfits. I call them “Smithsfits.”
**You are a strong supporter of youth! In a recent article you have criticized the role of academies. How do you think is possible to create a bridge between young talented artists and the art system? **
It is important for artists to remember that the art world is a forever morphing entity. It relies on new blood to feed itself. Artists have much more power in the situation than I think many realize. Art is perhaps the only creative field where there exists no independent system run by artists. I wish artists would look at their career possibilities more like the music industry. There are thousands of independent record labels that release millions of albums a year completely independent from the industry establishment. There is absolutely no reason why the art world should not be operating in the much same way. I know from experience that collectors and fans will come to wherever the good art is, regardless if that is a 5,000 square foot pristine white cube or someone’s dirty garage. If there is ever to be a healthy bridge between artists and the art system I believe an independent network is essential. – Even if they have worked for years under the skin of cities and suburbs, now they are shaping the imaginary of the global market, branding cities and products. Which is their role in this waive of brand urbanism? I don’t believe artists have any role in this besides making art that is true to themselves! Let the branding people brand. It will always fall just shy of the truth anyway, or arrive too late to really make much difference if it does. I believe the artists role in all societies is to create with total abandon and express whatever is in their hearts to express. If that has influence beyond that it is not the artists role to define it. In fact, I am quite weary of artists who try to place themselves in terms of global markets or brand influence. It always seems like a cover-up for a lack of talent.
**Which is the cultural space where we should enjoy art? **
We should enjoy art everywhere! Art is everywhere. Of course it is in the galleries and museums, but it is also in the riverbeds and back alleys, on billboards and the sides of trucks. It can be a construction site or pile of garbage on the street. It all just depends on a person’s ability to open their eyes. The best art I’ve seen this year has happened by accident, by some oblivious soul who happened to randomly place a few discarded objects in a particular pattern on the sidewalk and inadvertently illuminate the entire neighbourhood. Do you think this movement, after the work of historisation you have done with Beautiful Losers, is over? Some artists will grow and some will not. This is life. In terms of a movement the jury is still out as to whether it is in fact a movement. That is for history to decide. Not me. The idea behind Beautiful Losers isn’t really about one set of artists anyway. It’s about an idea, an approach to life. It is the same approach that the Beats had, The Abstract Expressionists, Minimalism, etc. It is basically the will and desire to be unpopular in order to create from the heart and if that is how you define Beautiful Losers it will go on forever, generation after generation.
**How far is the European imaginary from the American one? Where the beautiful losers are looking to? Asia, Latin world, Europe? **
Cultural references are cultural references. At the core, I don’t think that what Dumbo or Space Invader are doing in Europe is much different from what American artists are doing. We live in a global culture, this is nothing new, everybody sees everything.
**What kind of imaginary world do you wanna live in? **
The same one that I am living in today. I love it.