Jose "PRIME" Reza

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The name Jose “PRIME” Reza should be a household name, one that everyone should recognize. Just as other artists associated with Los Angeles like Ed Ruscha, David Hockney or Larry Bell, who have contributed to the arts and culture of the region, the biggest difference being that Prime is actually from here. His story begins on the streets of the Pico Union district, an area historically recognized for its high density and crime, yet some outstanding artists have emerged from there. This has long been the case to some extent in the Latino community, the lack of social resources and the arts which have contributed to the marginalization of many of our people, has led to high levels of stylized creativity. In these types of neighborhoods, if you walked out of your house on the way to a local elementary or junior high, chances are you would have seen several hit ups, placasos, or gang members loitering around by the time you arrived. The street gallery was dark, exhilarating, intriguing and edgy, one where survival was always at stake, and if you weren’t a gang member, you didn’t do gang writing. Today, Prime is considered a master of technique, style, and typeface.  His work has appeared and  been documented in several books, and he was a part of the Art in the Streets collaborative wall exhibition at MOCA in 2011. He designed the front cover for the Getty Black Book, collaborated at the Scratch exhibition at ESMoA. Though his work originates from a dark place, from the bleak and somber environment from which he was spawned, the progressive, bold, and forward thinking process has earned him a significant place in the Los Angeles art scene. 

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