So-called high and low art deliberately collide in the work of Gajin Fujita. As the child of Japanese parents, one an abstract landscape painter and the other a conservator, he turns frequently to Japanese artworks as sources for his work. Simultaneously, as a native of Los Angeles and former street artist, he lifts images from American street culture—often incorporating signature tags of other graffiti artists and popular commercial symbols.

Here, the artist includes an image of the Japanese wind god Fujin with that of a lion, the king of the jungle. These symbols of power are underscored by the painting’s opulent gold-leafed surface. The abundance of natural elements—wind, flora, and fauna—speaks to Fujita’s concern for the environment, and his frustration with the human hubris that disregards it. “I painted this work in hopes that it would send a clear message that nature rules over all of us on this planet.”