DEFER, also known as Alex “DEFER” Kizu, is a prominent artist known for his intricate and dynamic graffiti art, which has become an integral part of the Los Angeles street art scene. His artistic journey began in the early 1980s, and he soon became a respected figure in the street art community. Early in his career, DEFER was deeply involved with the K2S (Kill to Succeed) graffiti crew, contributing to the vibrant and expanding street art culture of LA at the time. His work with the crew helped establish the visual lexicon of the region’s graffiti movement, characterised by flowing letters, rich colours, and complex compositions. DEFER’s art style is a unique blend of traditional graffiti and calligraphic techniques, leading to the development of his signature aesthetic known as “spiritual language.”
DEFER’s work has been exhibited in various art galleries and museums, showcasing his versatility and his ability to transition from outdoor spaces to the world of fine art. He has been involved in numerous collaborations and projects, expanding his canvas to include everything from large-scale murals to his art installations found at the NIKE Headquarters in Portland and Jordan In Los Angeles. Recently his work was included in the “Liber Amicorum” project which is archived in the Getty Research Institute’s special collections with exhibitions in London, LA, Miami, and Shanghai to name a few. He has been featured in numerous publications including Art in America, Los Angeles Times, and The History of American Grafﬁti. He is also featured in the Discovery Channel show “Rods and Wheels”.
DEFER’s influence is also evident in his contributions to the dialogue around graffiti and street art. Through his work and his words, he provides insights into the culture, philosophy, and evolving nature of urban artistic expression.
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