Gajin Fujita (b. 1972, lives in Los Angeles)
Crew, 2002
Spraypaint, acrylic, and gold leaf on wood
Purchase 2003.

Gajin Fujita's energetic blend of wildly disparate elements parallels the artist's upbringing in a traditional Japanese household within the predominantly Hispanic section of Boyle Heights in East LA. Combining traditional and pop Japanese aesthetics with street tagging styles and methods, Fujita has developed an ambitious and uniquely postmodern view that embraces the jarring visual contradictions of the modern world. In Crew, East meets West, high meets low, and old meets new in an eye-popping six-panel painting about a "gang" of samurai warriors. The shapes and decorative patterns of Japanese woodblock prints mix with a multi-layered background of goldleafing and gang-style graffiti to create connections between the past and present. As one critic has said, Fujita's art is "like a trippy twenty-first-century vision of old-school Japan set on the mean streets of LA."

Fujita's work was included in the much lauded 2001 exhibition "Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmpolitanism" at Site Santa Fe. He has shown his work at pioneering Chelsea gallery Kravets/Wehby in New York and mega galleries LA Louver and Rolf Ricke in Venice, California, and Cologne, Germany, respectively.