As a founding member of the respected crews K2S, STN & KGB, Alex “DEFER” Kizu (b. 1975) has been an integral part of the Los Angeles street art scene since the mid-1980s. He is well known for his expertise in rendering beautifully complex letter-form.
Alex Kizu’s work stems from his culture and connection to graffiti and the urban landscape, representing a profound artistic language which distorts the lines between street art and fine art. Kizu, aka Defer, was one of the pioneer members of the first generation of Los Angeles graffiti writers, and he has distilled the hand-style developed since his youth into abstract pieces that incorporate not only typographic but also cultural motifs, and complex patterning. Kizu’s paintings are highly detailed examinations of line and color – frenetic structures that flow organically with multi-layered abstractions creating a borderless visual depth and complexity.
Interviews and work by Kizu have been included in a number of esteemed compendiums of graffiti art – a testament to Alex Kizu’s artistic stature in the realm of Los Angeles street 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.
Mark Making, Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Roll Call, LA Louver, Los Angeles, CA
A Golden State, Four Artists from Los Angeles, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
Aftermath, Robert Graham Studio, Los Angeles, CA
POW! WOW! Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Urban Masters, Hausammann Gallery, Miami, FL
Between the Lines, Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Bridging Homeboy Industries, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Art for Hearts 2012, Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, CA
Street Cred: From Concrete to Canvas, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA
No Biter’s Allowed, Crewest, Los Angeles, CA
Hi-Graff, Hold Up Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Art for Hearts, Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, CA
LA Style III, LA Contemporary Gallery, Los Angeles, CA