English world traveler and businessman Ryan Roth founded Roth Management in 2009 with the goal of furthering today’s creative landscape. Focusing on modern and contemporary art, Roth Management offers a variety of services that include consulting, art fund management, asset allocation and art investment, and handles commissions, licensing and international curatorial projects.

Though just 32 years old, Roth has catapulted his career in a trajectory that is similar to his own life – in constant movement forward. Having lived around the world, Roth meshes his love of art with his love of travel by exploring cultures and propelling emerging artists into the global scene.

Roth has lived in Los Angeles, Sydney, Auckland, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Paris and now Tokyo. He serves on the board of directors for the Catalina Film Festival and is friends with some of the biggest names in art and some of the top DJ’s in the world, including his close friend Gareth Emery. In April, Roth will head to Santa Monica to co-curate a charity event called Art Works for the Cure (www.2013artworks.org).


What was your main purpose/goal when starting Roth Management in 2009? Has that purpose/goal changed or evolved over time?

With all good things, they start with the best of intentions. When starting the company, I had an idea and thankfully it worked out well. The initial idea was for artist career guidance but, over time, we’ve had various requests which are now part of the company: art fund management, advising individuals and corporations about art investment/purchasing, advising on public works, interior design consultancy, fashion consultancy and curating. There have also been additional personal requests for charity support and lecturing on the ‘business of art’.

It’s been rewarding, both with the artists we work with and the people I’ve met along the way. I’ve made a life for myself from that idea – a life I feel very privileged to have and one I truly enjoy.

Tell us a little about your background. 

Ah … well that could be a very interesting tale to tell, but let’s keep it simple. I studied psychology and law, but had no real interest in taking it any further, so I took some time to travel and discover/decide what I wanted. I loved art, design and travel and, when I started traveling, I gained a thirst for it. Picking up a backpack and traveling around the world gave me a great deal of real life experience, seeing the world and its various cultures. Art, design, food and other cultures seemed to replace other interests I had as a kid. I ended up living in Paris, Tokyo, L.A., Sydney, Bangkok, Auckland and London, and I traveled to some of the most interesting and remote places like Papua New Guinea.

As an expat many times over, how do you maintain your sense of identity when regularly changing your surroundings?  

Our identity is always changing. We are different with our family than we are with our childhood friends and our business associates or significant others. When I talk with people I grew up with, sometimes it’s hard to associate; when you’ve been out of the country for so long, some feel some sense of distance, but with a few close friends I still stay in touch. One of my childhood friends is Gareth Emery, who travels more than I do, DJ’ing all over the world, but we meet up from time to time and the last time was in L.A., so it’s helpful to have a few friends who experience something of what I do.

Sailing and adventure sports have also helped give me something else that I take with me wherever I go. Snow boarding in New Zealand, Canada or Japan is different  but the same and I just got back from Hakuba-Happo, which had some of the best powder I’ve seen in years, and I’m looking forward to going back in a few years. I’d recommend staying at Hakuba Onsen Ryokan SHIROUMA-SO (www.shiroumaso.com), home of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Soaking in the outside Onsen (hot springs), with mountain views, snow falling all around you and having something nice and cool to drink in your hand is something very special.

I also read BBC News and watch Al Jazeera; it helps to keep me informed, and listening to British accents also helps.

And lastly it would be the expat community; when going to a new country, I’ve been very fortunate to have been welcomed into a few Rugby or Cricket teams and the lads have always been helpful. When I lived for a summer in Santa Monica, CA, I used to play beach Rugby with the Santa Monica Beach Boks, a good mix of Brits, Kiwis, Saffas, Aussies and Americans; some retired internationals like Marc Stcherbina and others all helped to give me some sense of regular life, even if everything else changes around me. I’d always recommended anyone who plays Rugby to go down for a few games if you move to Los Angeles; it’s just beautiful to play for the last two to three hours of daylight on the beach, sun setting over the Malibu Mountains.

In general, I think part of my own identity is adventure, travel and experiencing new cultures. It’s helped me grow into the man I am today and having short breaks from time to time really helps me relax, be myself and adjust to whatever country I’m in. Work is work and if you can’t enjoy yourself, it takes away the very best life has to offer.

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