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Preview: Gajin Fujita “Warriors, Ghosts and Ancient Gods of the Pacific” @ L.A. Louver

12:29 PM PDT on May 20, 2015


[dropcap size=big]G[/dropcap]ajin Fujita is well-known to regular readers of this website, and he remains one of the most vital artists working in Los Angeles today. His latest show at L.A. Louver opens next week, on Wednesday, May 27th in Venice Beach.

One theme that is always present in Gajin's work is the concept and application of loyalty. Explicit references to city and crew, combined with inspiration drawn from deep cultural roots, enhanced by literal contributions by friends and other artists to some of the paintings create a unique world that is steeped in unbreakable bonds. Martial loyalty as expressed in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock art is an enduring theme that finds its continuation in Fujita's paintings, especially the large scale warriors who each strive to represent their version of loyalty from behind a drawn sword.

The artist's own code is complex-- coming from an era where (graffiti) crews battled using spray cans rather than swords, there is a certain distance and humor given to the idea of life-or-death clan warfare, even as the technique behind the art is deeply serious and intricate. At the same time, Fujita never fails to represent his crew, K2S, linking himself directly to the battles and struggle that have existed in his own life and throughout history. His pioneering success in the art world may create a new reality of its own, but here we see a fierce loyalty to technique, to crew, and to city still reigns in both expression and intent.

"Studying the ukiyo-e woodblock prints and their intricacies, I strive to get close to the Japanese masters, and I want to keep violating people's expectations" -- Gajin Fujita

Mystic Magic GF14-17 A
Pacific Ghost GF14-19 A
Let's Rock GF13-4
Let's Roll GF13-5

Image Credits, from top to bottom:

Southland Standoff, 2013, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Copyright Gajin Fujita, image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

Mystic Magic, 2014
Copyright Gajin Fujita, image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

Pacific Ghost, 2014
Copyright Gajin Fujita, image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

Let’s Rock, 2013
Copyright Gajin Fujita, image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

Let’s Roll, 2013
Copyright Gajin Fujita, image courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

L.A. Louver Presents:
27 May - 2 July 2015
Opening reception: Wednesday, 27 May, 7-9 PM
45 North Venice Boulevard
Venice, California 90291

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