Touchscreen in Rat Fink Revolution Show Highlights the Artists Inspired by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth
Two alumni and a current student helped create a touchscreen on display now in the Emmanuel Gallery.Megan Briggs | College of Arts & Media Nov 10, 2022
A touchscreen currently set up in the Emmanuel Art Gallery tells the story of Rat Fink Revolution: It Started With a T-Shirt, Now We’re Here. The exhibition, on display through November 17th, pays homage to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the creator of the anti-hero Rat Fink. Roth’s counter-culture art spread to many corners of American culture, including t-shirts, custom cars, skateboard designs, and even fine art.
“Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth is key and crucial in so many different genres,” says Cody Braithwaite, Roth’s son. “He’s like the Michael Jordan of custom cars and graphic t-shirts.”
Rat Fink Reunion in Manti, Utah
This summer, students, staff, and faculty from CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media (CAM) traveled to the 20th annual Rat Fink Reunion in Manti, Utah, to capture the story of Roth and the proliferation of art he inspired. Visitors to the Emmanuel Gallery can take a glimpse into the reunion and the numerous artists who draw on the spirit of Rat Fink as they create.
The touchscreen project was executed by a handful of CAM alumni. Madeleine Rumbach ’22 designed the touchscreen with mentorship from digital design professor Bryan Leister. Rumbach also programmed the screen. Film & Television (FiTV) alum student Tomas Bernal ’20 shot the footage of the interviews, and current FiTV student Tim Brown ’24 edited the video and added after effects.
From the home screen of the touchscreen invites visitors to click on any number of artists, ranging from people like Thomas Estrada who has several Disney and Pixar animated films on his resume, to Brian Biehl, a custom car artist specializing in pinstriping. Each artist speaks to the influence Roth’s work had on them.
Roth passed away in 2001, but his work lives on in some pretty conspicuous places—including the graphic t-shirt.
You can visit Rat Fink Revolution: It Started With a T-Shirt, Now We’re Here in the Emmanuel Gallery now through November 17, 2022.