SAVE THE DATE: “L.A.: LEY LINES,” a Featured Programming Exhibition at LA Art Show, Presented by Cartwheel Art and Curated by AXIS with Artists: BIG SLEEPS, DEFER, EYEONE, PRIME, SWANK and AXIS – January 10th through January 14th, 2018

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Groundbreaking graffiti artists AXIS, BIG SLEEPS, DEFEREYEONE, PRIME, and SWANK define their neighborhoods and Los Angeles in “L.A.: LEY LINES” an exhibition with a site-specific installation/activation area for the LA Art Show, showcasing the LA styles of graffiti and lettering that have influenced art on a global level.

Cartwheel Art, the DTLA company who provides immersive experiences through Cartwheel Art Tours, Services, and the on-line Cartwheel Art Magazine, brings the unique vision of L.A.: LEY LINES to the 2018 LA Art Show, January 10-14 as Featured Programming at the LA Convention Center.

“L.A.: LEY LINES” presented by Cartwheel Art and curated specifically for the LA Art Show by Alex “AXIS” Ventura, features six artists from different sections of Los Angeles whose work defines and showcases the distinct aesthetic of these areas. With deep roots in the early Los Angeles graffiti movement, these artists also have backgrounds in California staples such as skateboarding, punk rock, tattooing, and other pursuits that are vital to L.A.’s rich artistic culture and modern history. These artists have established themselves in the raw environment of the L.A. streetscape, and in recent years have moved into some of the most prestigious galleries and museums in the world, while their styles, propelled and popularized by social media, have influenced artists around the world.

The exhibition celebrates the fierce styles of these six artists who came from the rough-and-tumble world of illicit public paintings to make their marks in galleries and museums, changing the global perception of graffiti and of Los Angeles art. Presented in a site-specific installation that provokes and challenges pre-conceived notions of high and street art, “L.A.: LEY LINES” presents a commentary on the evolving aesthetics of art appreciation and the acceptance of avant-garde and underground art by both elite and popular cultures.

Alex “AXIS” Ventura, whose Southern California murals redefined the use of spray paint, was brought in by Cartwheel Art to conceptualize, curate, and design their special programming feature. “L.A.: LEY LINES,” which features AXIS’ own work, plus five other internationally renowned Los Angeles artists, BIG SLEEPS, DEFER, EYEONE, PRIME, and SWANK.

AXIS was Born in London and raised in Los Angeles; the other artists featured in “L.A.: Leylines” are native Angelenos, born and raised in various LA neighborhoods. Each of the six has become known for their distinctive style of graffiti, often as part of well-known “crews” that collaborate on large public murals throughout the region, including the legendary LA crew K2S, (Kill 2 Succeed), known for originating a unique style indigenous to LA, a hybrid of East Coast lettering mixed with traditional LA placasos (neighborhood calligraphy.) The artists in “L.A.: LEY LINES” are considered to be among the most influential in the history of LA’s public art scene, creating styles of work uniquely their own that have widely influenced the entire genre worldwide. In each case, their work attracted the attention of visionary gallery owners and curators, who brought their work inside to the walls of major galleries and museums on an international level.

LA Art Show January 10th – 14th, 2018
Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall
1201 S. Figueroa St. LA 90015

Ticket Info:


Alex “AXIS” Ventura (b. 1973, London, England) is an American painter and illustrator. Axis is best known for his hyper-stylized freehand graffiti, which he first exposed on the streets of Los Angeles in the late-80’s and now exhibits in galleries and museums. By the mid-90s, the craftsmanship he displayed in public murals redefined what artists could do with spray paint and cemented his reputation as a revered figure in the Los Angeles art community.  In 2011 his work was featured in the exhibition Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas at The Pasadena Museum of California Art.  In 2012, he debuted his curatorial efforts with the Getty Research Institute, where he served as both curator and featured-artist for the “LA Liber Amicorum” (GRI Special Collections), and continued his curatorial work in 2014 with SCRATCH, an exhibition at ESMoA (El Segundo Museum of Art) in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute.  In 2015 he co-curated the BEYOND GRAFFITI 2 exhibition at the A+D Museum. Axis also produces commercial art for numerous high-profile clients, including the NBA, Acura, Lucas Films, DreamWorks and RVCA.
instagram: @axisvalhalla

David “Big Sleeps” Cavazos is an internationally renowned tattoo artist, whose unique lettering style is highly revered by devotees of body art the world over. Growing up in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, he fell victim to gang violence and spent a majority of his youth in juvenile hall, youth authority and state prison. During that time, he practiced and perfected his styles, and has evolved his lettering into another realm of self-expression in murals and paintings. He has been included in major gallery and museum exhibits such as “Scratch” at the El Segundo Museum of Art (2014), “Aftermath”exhibition At Robert Graham Gallery (2016) “Roll call” Exhibition at L.A.Louver 2016 and has collaborated with the fashion brands Hurley and Umbro to name a few. His lettering has been featured in books and magazines, most notably the Getty Research Institute’s LA Liber Amicorum. Among his list of achievements, the most important to Big Sleeps are his youth-oriented lettering/drawing workshops and seminars, which enable him to give back to the community and serve as a symbol of hope and inspiration. Big Sleeps has created his own brand, “Letters To Live By,” an independent entity devoted to lettering, tattoo, art and design.
Instagram: @bigsleeps

Alex “Defer” Kizu is an artist born and raised in Los Angeles. He started doing graffiti in the mid 1980’s Defer is also known as one of the original members of the legendary LA crew K2S (Kill 2 Succeed), which is known for originating a unique style indigenous to LA, which is a hybrid of both traditional east coast lettering mixed with traditional LA “Placasos” (neighborhood calligraphy). His style is an obliteration of the letter form – in which he terms “Spiritual Language” a volley of automatic brush strokes – lead by his innermost being. Defer is known for both his paintings and installations that have been in both museums and galleries throughout the world. He also has an extensive history of murals throughout the streets of Los Angeles and other venues in the U.S. and in 2017 painted the first mural in the medieval city of York, U.K. He also helped organize and curate a monumental show “Scratch” which was held at ESMOA (El Segundo Museum of Art) and was supported by the Getty museum. Defer is definitely on a mission.
Instagram: @deferk2s

Raymundo “Eyeone” Reynoso is an artist and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. His practice is rooted in graffiti, printmaking, and photography. His work documents and reflects on themes of resistance, struggle, and survival in contemporary urban environments. His work has recently been included in the Getty Research Institute’s L.A. Liber Amicorum; Beyond Graffiti II at the Architecture + Design Museum in Los Angeles; Scratch at the El Segundo Museum of Art; Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; and Dreams Deferred: Artists Respond to Immigration Reform and L.A. Heat: Taste Changing Condiments at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. Eyeone is a member of Los Angeles graffiti art collectives Seeking Heaven, Second To None, and Kill Two Succeed and publishes the acclaimed journal Lost | Graffiti in the City of Angels. He has lectured at various institutions including The Getty, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Brown University, U.C. Riverside, and Cal State Los Angeles. He has painted murals in Mexico, France, and the U.S.
Instagram: @eyeone_sh 

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.”
Instagram: @primek2s

Paul “SWANK” Nandee (b.1976, Los Angeles, CA) is a Los Angeles based graffiti artist, muralist, graphic artist, designer and fine artist. His work has been collected and exhibited by the Getty Research Institute, Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles, El Segundo Museum of Art, A+D Architecture and Design Museum (Los Angeles),and Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles). One of the most innovative and well-respected LA graffiti writers, SWANK is considered part of the “Second Generation” who started being recognized for painting graffiti after 1993. His signature style is identified by his distinctive lettering and character creations constructed using cubist angles. He is a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is a member of Seeking Heaven Crew (SH).
Instagram: @swank_sh


Cartwheel Art is always very excited to be part of the LA Art Show. Our founder, Cindy Schwarzstein was on the host committee in 2013, and has continued to support them ever since. When Cartwheel Art was founded in 2013, we became a media partner, supporting the art fair through the magazine and creating special programming to tie into the event. Whether through designing and leading mural tours of the Arts District to complement panel discussions, leading tours of the “Littletopia” and special exhibition sections, moderating and organizing panel discussions, or presenting the “Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising,” exhibition, we love being a part of the LA Art Show! This year we continue our tradition as a media contributor of the event, as well as presenting “L.A.: LEY LINES” as a Featured Programming Exhibition with a site-specific installation/activation area.


At Cartwheel Art, we live and breathe art on a daily basis, through our offerings of thoughtfully curated specialty tour experiences, our online art magazine, weekly newsletter, site-specific art installations, and our special event activations. Our constant research and coverage means we are well versed in the cutting edge art emanating from LA. We are excited to bring some LA flavor to the international LA Art Show, with an immersive interactive installation as an exhibition that will intrigue and entertain all visitors, with a focus on art movements that are uniquely LA.

Cartwheel Art is the umbrella that covers Cartwheel Art Tours, Services, and the on-line Cartwheel Art Magazine. Founded in 2012, we are community and art-centric, devoted to bringing you the best in art, immersive tour experiences, and site-specific activation. Located in the bustling hub of Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, we bring you news from all of LA’s creative art communities, with a focus on emerging, street, lowbrow, contemporary pop surrealism, and public art. Our involvement with the LA Art Show began in 2012, when Founder Cindy Schwarzstein was on the host committee. We have since supported them as a media contributor, through our tours of “Littletopia” and other special exhibition sections, by moderating and organizing panel discussions, and presenting unique immersive exhibitions, as well as leading public art and neighborhood bus and walking tours of Downtown Los Angeles, from the LA Convention Center.


“LA: LEY LINES” – an LA Art Show Featured Programming booth, Presented by Cartwheel Art


LA Art Show Hours: 
January 10th – 14th, 2018

Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall
1201 S. Figueroa St. LA 90015

Ticket Info: Opening Night VIP and General Admission tickets available here:

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