"Graffiti is the foundation on which we built our artistic practices. But beyond graffiti, Los Angeles is what unifies us," says Gajin Fujita ('97 Fine Arts). The Boyle Heights native brings together 11 artists, including himself, for a crash-course in L.A. street-inspired art. Repping different neighborhoods and influenced by different cultures, their works join to create a layered, vibrant, and at times irreverent vision of Los Angeles, which couldn't come at a better time. Roll Call opens today at the L.A. Louver in Venice.
Artist Gajin Fujita / Kidz Gone Bad, 2016
“Roll Call” refers to tagging the names of all the graffiti artists who contributed to a single piece. For Fujita, curating the show meant highlighting the work of artists he has known for almost 30 years. He met Alex Kizu (Defer) on a school bus, and later with Jesse Simon, the group became known as KGB (Kids Gone Bad). From there Fujita met and collaborated with others like David Cavazos (Big Sleeps), Jose Reza (Prime), and Slick. The show includes some of the most influential street artists in Los Angeles, from seminal graffiti crews KGB (Kids Gone Bad), K2S (Kill 2 Succeed) and LTS (Last to Survive) to the bearers of the Chicano muralist tradition like Fabian Debora and Ricardo Estrada. Works from trailblazer Chaz Bojorquez, graffiti artist turned opera designer Retna and mixed media artist Patrick Martinez round out the ensemble.
“To me, these artists are a cross-section of generations and geographies of graffiti,” says Fujita. “This show is a reflection of the people that have impacted my life, and the city of Los Angeles.”
Roll Call will be on view through January 14, 2017, for more information visit www.lalouver.com. In addition, L.A. Louver will host several panels and workshops in conjunction with the show, including a panel discussion, Origin Story: The History of L.A. Graffiti on November 29 featuring graffiti historian Steve Grody, a typography and lettering workshop with David Cavazos (Big Sleeps) and Jose Reza (Prime) on December 3, and a life portraiture workshop lead by Fabian Debora and Ricardo Estrada on January 7. Panel discussions are free to attend, while workshops are limited and require a materials fee. Reservations are required for all, contact L.A. Louver at (310) 822-4955 or email@example.com.
Image: Peter Goulds of L.A. Louver and artist Gajin Fujita at the press preview for Roll Call.