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June 16, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

CHICANO GRAFFITI AND MURALS: The Neighborhood Art of Peter Quezada by Sojin Kim (University of Mississippi Press: $16.95; 72 pp., paperback original). Quezada's murals in northeast Los Angeles are painted on the walls of abandoned buildings that attract taggers: He offers the artwork to the community as an alternative to graffiti. His murals combine imagery appropriated from movie stills, cartoons and other sources to present anti-drug, anti-gang messages. Kim's study occasionally bogs down in academic jargon, but remains an engaging portrait of a committed artist striving to make Los Angeles a more peaceful place to live.

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