Los Angeles, CA


Jose "Prime" Reza, (b. October 5, 1971) is a Mexican-American graffiti artist born and raised in the Pico-Union District of Downtown Los Angeles. Prime is credited with being a founding father of Los Angeles stylized graffiti lettering, a hybrid of Cholo lettering and East Coast style graffiti that is often bold, aggressive, and monochromatic.

Prime is considered one of the most influential artists in the history of Los Angeles public wall writing, combining "traditional east coast painting techniques with geometric gangster-style blocks."



Prime gained international exposure in 1987 when his work was featured in the seminal book Spraycan Art, one of the earliest documentations of graffiti culture and inspired additional movements around the world. In the book, Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art Steve Grody writes of Prime, "His battle piece representing K2S crew against WCA crew in 1985 is arguably the single most influential piece in the establishment of L.A. style."

In 2013 Prime designed the cover of The Getty Research Institute's L.A. Liber Amicorum (The Getty Graffiti Black Book), a modern-day rare manuscript bound together into a single work of art that includes 143 graffiti and tattoo artists from Los Angeles.

The creation of The Getty Graffiti Black Book/L.A. Liber Amicorum led to "Scratch," an exhibition at the El Segundo Museum of Art which opened in June, 2014. "Scratch" created a live book of friendship in gallery environment, with the gallery walls curated by six different artists and painted with their friends. Prime participated in a wall curated by Alex "Defer" Kizu, titled Dark Progressivism.


What inspires graffiti artist Prime? The Getty visits his studio in downtown L.A.