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The 5th Element, the Golden Era of Street Art"


Iconic street artist, DEFER, amalgamates the urban landscape and the realm of fine art. Alex Kizu, aka DEFER, transcends his youth in Boyle Heights to share the influences of true street art within his own murals, canvases and prints. As a pioneer member of the first generation of LA Graffiti crews, K2S, STN and KGB, Kizu’s influence on the Los Angeles graffiti movement is profound. Edified by early New York graffiti, and more importantly, the neighborhood “placaso” style, indigenous to LA; Defer culminates these experiences to define a unique native genre. DEFER’s typographic work is viewed as lyrical and beautiful. Also known as a handstyle, this specific expression speaks to the credibility of the original graffiti crews in Los Angeles and now bridges to a larger audience. Currently Defer creates paintings that incorporate Japanese images with his handstyle resulting in exquisite art. - Brandy Shea

DEFER street art
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Sweeney Defer: To me, street art is a broad term that covers so many areas. Before, it was mainly graffiti, but now it seems to be used for anything even remotely related to graffiti. I think L.A. has its own distinct style or identity that is now recognized throughout the world. It’s a hybrid of traditional placaso hand styles, Old English fonts, and traditional New York graffiti styles. - As a founding member of the respected crews K2S & STN, Alex “DEFER” Kizu has been an integral part of the Los Angeles street art scene since the mid-80′s. Adept at working in various mediums such as markers, spray paint, acrylic, gouache, etc., Kizu expertly renders the beautifully complex letter-forms for which he is known.

A testament to Alex Kizu’s artistic stature in the realm of Los Angeles street art is that his interviews and work have been included in 3 esteemed compendiums of graffiti art. Whether it’s the LA-centric graffiti book, “Graffiti LA” by Steve Grody, or the national scope covered in the recently released “The History of American Graffiti” by Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon, Kizu’s influence on the visual language found in the the City of Angels cannot be overlooked. -



Shari Belafonte


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