Roche. (Josh Sisk)

Raised by a painter and a sculptor, Jimmy Joe Roche has art in his blood.

Born and raised in Tallahassee, Fla., the 31-year-old visual artist and filmmaker has lived in Waverly for the past 8 years. Roche, who additionally teaches video production in the Johns Hopkins Film and Media Department, believes his art allows him to communicate his ideas and ask questions about the world around him. "Artists have the ability to create their own language, and this is really fascinating," he said.


Roche has been working hard getting ready for his Front Room upcoming exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, which will include two new large sculptures a new video his wife describes to people as "creepy" and "like a horror movie." The exhibition, which also features the work of artist Nathaniel Mellors, opens today and runs through Sept. 29. Roche talked to us about imagining Leatherface as a filmmaker, his distaste for television and more.

Worst pet peeve? I hate the bait and switch. I find that in the arts it's very prevalent.

What song/songs are you loving right now? I found this awesome DJ Screw mix on YouTube that is like an hour long and I've been rocking that pretty hard.

Last concert/gig you went to? I saw a particularly crunchy set by Gaybomb at the Baltimore edition of the International Noise Conference.

Your worst habit? I'm an obsessive workaholic. When I'm on a project, I can't think about anything else.

Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Movies where New York is destroyed.

Last movie you liked? The first thing that comes to mind is the recent documentary that played the Maryland Film Festival called "Leviathan" by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel. I thought it was beautiful and inspiring. The sound track is like a death metal ambient noise assault. The film is like if Leatherface made a film about fishing.

TV show(s) you can't get enough of? I don't really have one. I don't watch much TV. I'm much more of a weird movie psychonaut.

Favorite and most loathed fashion statement? I think this mix of goth and hip-hop is getting kinda weird. Favorite fashion statement is XXL Looney Tunes and Disney shirts, but only when the wearer is taking it seriously.

Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? I've been enjoying WC Harlan in Remington. It's got a great vibe and there are no flat screen TV's which is a major bonus.

Best advice you ever got? My good friend and mentor, filmmaker Jonathan Demme, once told me to "make myself indispensable." I took it to heart and it has served me well over the years.

Favorite art form right now? I've been really enjoying my LXZ analog video synthesizer and my audio modules by Make Noise, so I guess you could say modular synthesis. It's not my favorite art form really, but it's a lot of fun. What really inspires me is immersive installation art and I hope I can begin to make my sculpture more immersive.

Biggest artistic inspiration? Last year the world lost visual artist Mike Kelley. He remains one of my greatest inspirations.

Favorite thing about Baltimore? The awesome people that make up the arts and music community.