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Toronto graffiti artist Alpha, 18 years old, dies on the job

February 4, 2005

Some tragic news from the Globe & Mail:

When Bardia Bryan Zargham got serious about graffiti, he chose Alpha as his tag and set about painting all over Toronto.
That was about five years ago, and since then, “Alpha” and “Alfa” have appeared from back alleys to boxcars, bringing underground fame to the 18-year-old artist and frustration from those who wished he would stop.
“One time I asked him, ‘Why did you pick that name?’ ” his father, Saeed Zargham, said yesterday, “and he said, ‘Because Alpha is the beginning of everything.’ ”
On Tuesday night, Alpha marked the end of everything for young Mr. Zargham. At about 9:45 p.m., right after he tagged a parked freight car with baby-blue spray paint, he was struck dead by a train near Dupont and Christie streets….
[Alpha’s father] is taking comfort from the passion he showed for his work, fatal as it was.
That passion, the father said, sprang from a simple desire to be known and for his work to be seen, not to harm anyone.
“From the outside, when you look at it . . . it’s not worth it. But for him, he put his life on the line for this.
“I lost a son, an 18-year-old son, but I’m proud of him.”

It’s sad that the first newspaper article I’ve read that isn’t snide or condemning about graffiti artists has to be about an artist’s death…. My sympathies and regrets go out to family, friends, fellow writers. R.I.P.
Pictures below courtesy of d r :


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19 comments on “Toronto graffiti artist Alpha, 18 years old, dies on the job”

living in toronto , i’ve seen many a great alpha,alfa,alfah pieces around.
what pisses me off is that some of them have actually been painted over.
he influenced a lot of my buddies to start bombing and my respects go to him
R.I.P. and you are missed

I dont know or claim to know that much, but i know that Bryan is truly an artist more so than most out there. Sorry to hear that he is no longer with us.

I have seen many of alphas tags around. I love graffiti and everytime i passed by one of his tags i would see how much time and how great of a artist he was and it would make me think and try that much ahrdr to do the best pieces i can. Thanks oyu alpha and r.i.p.

Alfah was one of the realest graffiti artists out there, he wasent scared to reveal the wack artist and wantabe bitches that where just doing it to follow the trend. He put his blood and sweat into his work and loved seeing his pieces and bombs when we would pass by them. Alfah was a bomber and risked being put in jail and risked his life to do what he loved, he wasent one of this artsee fartsee graffiti artist out here, he was real. So remember alfah as one of the realest graffiti artists out there and if any of you little bicthes go over his work, you will get whats coming to ya. So FUCK ENTER!!! FUCK TRICK!!!! FUCK THE REST!!!
rIp AlpHa 1986-2005 alfah lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I live in Oakland, California. I just heard a radio piece about Alpha
on National Public Radio. I was really blown away by his artistic
drive and the hole he left in his community when he died…but also
the spirit that lives on through his buddies, his parents and in the
community he left behind. R.I.P. Alpha.

Alfah was one of the first writers i recognized when I was a kid growing up. I would always see
the same Alfah throw whenever I would go dt with my dad to union station. He inspired me to
write, and I will keep writing to the fucking end and keep the dream alive. I can’t believe punk
kids are still dissing his stuff, after all he contributed to the Toronto graff scene. Open your eyes
toys and recognise true bombers ambition. RIP ALFAH
Im out.

Alpha was the best of the best. he loved what he did and put 100% to his work always. He wasnt a
wana be like all the other ppl. His graffitis were the best and really nice so all u other wanabees
get ur art work and sttick it between ur ass cracks. WE LOVE U ALPHA AND WE MISS U

yeah i seen alphas shit around, just throwies mostly though…none of his pieces
and even tho him and trik were beefin, i think u guys know that trik isnt just some wannabe tagger i mean cmon, have u seen the places that man gets to?
rip alha
and ups to trik bacon eyes all them kings

One year and eight months, eleven days and twenty and a half hours has passed since ALFA has
left us.
To some,it may have been a long time ago but to most of us, it feels just like yesterday.
Toronto streets whisper Alfa’s name. From walls to walls and roof tops to roof tops.
We miss him for his big heart and for who he was. Some tell the untold stories about him that nothing could
stop him from writting. So much dedication in the coldest of weathers and in the wee hours of winter nights
and mornings.
Alfa came up as the subject of a conversation with the President of a large Graphic Designing Firms in
Toronto and after a pause, he said ” Alfa was the most respected Street Artist in Toronto”.
It’s a shame that our young Graffitit artists are having such difficult times expressing themselves.
I was so saddened by the news of Alfa’s death as i had seen many of his bombings on the city walls,he said.
Rest in peace King Alfa. We love you. You are on our mind and in our hearts. RIP ALFAH1

Ha ha Alfa and Trik werent beefing…Enter went over him alfa a bunch but that wasnt even “beefing”. You have no idea what beef is but if you want to find out why dont you say fuck you to trik or enter’s face scope… Scope where have I seen that? Nowhere.
RIP Alfa

this dude was the shit and he killed our city i went to school with him and he was the real deal ….not like most of you that get paint money from yar moma. Alll city must respect alpha or you will get dealt with by me!!! fuck god and the wak as sith that he ddoes ……oh ya i have some of his graph on video and it will be out as soon as i get out of my koke head sleep all day dun nothing spot weed and mush room fase ….4 real im going to do it and do it right….LAST WOrD

we all miss you man oh ya FUCK COPS!!!!! IS SB iS THE SHIT

I was in Kensington today, and I went into an alley behind some store , and there I saw this killer piece by Causr and Alpha, I couldnt help but stop. I try to take pictures whenever I can, especially
of his older bombs. His shit is everywhere, he fucking killed the city and his spirit still lives on. He is an inspiration for so many writers. When you think of how he died, you can’t help but think that he was doing what he loved and he risked his
his life for it. If some fuckers say thats not pure art then quite frankly then I dont know what is.
Alpha, you will always be respected and remembered by people who didnt even know you but saw your stuff and still stop by it everyday.
” The point is not to live forever, it is to create something that will”.
Write in peace.

I heard about ALPHA today, please Toronto leave this mans art alone. He is a famous artist. Please take photos and post them somewhere

i grew up with brian, i remember when he chased my buddy misha around his dads apartment with a pair of scisors. a truely kind individuals at some momemnt , a truely inspired person all of the time. a loyal friend, someone who loved what they did. graffiti or not, one must respect every aspect of what made brian, kenjoy thanks brian

Well first and foremost i like to say R.I.P to “alpha” even though I never new him I pay my respects. A lot of other mutual friends knew him that good old 6 degress will alwyas bite u in the arse….. Theres a lot to with a lot of things and hip hops words are mixed up. So listen up if u write do it alone and if ur in a crew make sure there into things as much ass u. I aint a b boy for no reason my shit still gets dissed but who the fuck cares! Not to mention anynames but I’m more of an mc anyway. I think its jelsousy and envy anyway. I dont think peeps should write over the remaining alpha bombs pecies tags for the simple fact that the man had passon for what he has done so have a lil consideration u arrogant fucks! So lets allow his spirt to live in the cold streets of toronto. I’ve been writing my name for ten years. Been arrested for writing my name and i still write it. I’ve even been dissed and i still write it. The one thing I don’t do is write over other peoples tags, even if there shit looks shitty, it’s still there shit. Theres just no respect anymore and a lot of people do this to feel cool, if ur one of these people i suggest u stop and go listen to sum run dmc. Besides the facts I have stated if ur going to talk the talk basically it means walk the walk and ur life is at risk every second of everyday. I write because im depressed and it helps to releave my stress. I’ve been through fucked up ish and hip hop has been my escape from the ghetto complexes staircases drugs prostitution and all that crap. TO MANY PEOPLE DIENG WAKE UP HATERS AND START THE REVOLUTION! My friend RICHY just passed many of u may know of him poor dood was only 20 I also send my condoences as well to MS ELVERAS. All im saying is if u love something that much make sure u understand it before u start to realize the consiquences. Anyway ill see u on the mail box or in the yards PEACE HeRbZoNe!AK!743?DMysticMC the one the only “Springer”

man everyone dont tuch his shit he is a god dam insperation to alot of people not just people that new him or met
he still lives on to this day
r.i.p alfah

RIP he dont deserve to die in that way but
that is the fucking life. But i respect him
that he die FOR THE ART , he die for this WORD
ART he die and will never forget this !

To the man who made a foot mark in peoples’ lives.
To Alfa…The real writer. Nothing could stop him to write. Cops, Jail, extreme cold weather…Nothing, nothing could stop him. Once he told me that he breaths Graffiti and he looked straight into my eyes and said: “graffiti is my life”. Now that I think about it, I realize that it’s not really how long we live physically, It’s rather how long we live in peoples’ mind and hearts. It’s how long we are remembered and what we have left behind. You will always be missed Bryan. King Alfa/Alfah/alpha. Your loyal fans are writing Alfa on the walls and keep you alive.You are always on thier mind…Your hard work, your friendliness, your smile, your heart and being who you are is always missed amoung us.
Big ups to you Alfa…
Hey Bryan…we will meet again Bro…till then
Rest in Peace and we keep you alive in this world.

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