Brands, symbols and emblems in Gajin Fujita's paintings at L.A. Louver
By David Pagel
Ten years ago, billboards across Southern California proclaimed that the baseball team then known as the Anaheim Angels had become the Los Angeles Angels. Fans got mad.
Long-standing lovers of the Anaheim Angels felt betrayed. Die-hard Dodgers supporters felt that their turf had been violated. Less passionate observers saw the name change as a corporate maneuver to grab a larger market share.
After a four-year legal battle, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came into being. The geographically illogical moniker seems to have pleased no one but the lawyers.
Similar issues — about power and loyalty, identity and history, money and love — unfold in Gajin Fujita’s 13 magnificent paintings at L.A. Louver. Made over the past four years, often with a little help from his friends, Fujita’s stunning stews of graffiti and gold leaf bring impressive complexity to the heroic quest to find meaning in a world otherwise inhospitable to individuals, strong-willed and otherwise.
All of Fujita’s paintings in “Warriors, Ghosts and Ancient Gods of the Pacific” make a hash of brands, mixing and mashing symbols and emblems as the 42-year-old artist plays fast and loose — and very purposefully — with history, geography and authority. Read more here.