Chris Pfouts grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 60s, in the relentless heat of the California motor and surf cultures. During the disco plague years he hit the road, criss-cossing America like a bug in a shoebox. After graduating from N.Y.U.'s journalism school, Pfouts clocked in for a career in magazines. He kept old titles alive and put new ones on the stands. He has edited “International Tattoo Art” magazine since its launch in 1991. He has written six books, including “Lead Poisoning: 25 True Stories from the Wrong End of a Gun,” “Hula Dancers and Tiki Gods,” and “Vacation from Reality: The Art of Anthony Ausgang.” But Chris's biggest accomplishment wasn't his career, but his ability to connect with people. Chris will be missed by his family and many friends.
Some folks have asked for a way to contribute to his memorial. There is now a PayPal account set up for that purpose at ChrisPfoutsMemorial.com.
As Chris wrote "I go through life like it's a Chinese grocery Store. I didn't understand half the stuff on the shelves, but here and there I find some special, toothsome treasure to keep for myself."
4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
La Luz de Jesus Gallery was established in 1986 as the brainchild of entrepreneur and art collector Billy Shire, considered largely responsible for fostering a new school of California art and prompting JUXTAPOZ Magazine to dub him "the Peggy Guggenheim of Lowbrow."
Showcasing mainly figurative, narrative paintings and unusual sculpture, the exhibitions are post-pop with content ranging from folk to outsider to religious to sexually deviant. The gallery's objective is to bring underground art and counter-culture to the masses. Past shows have been groundbreaking, launching unknown artists who have since become famous, such as Manual Ocampo, Joe Coleman, and Robert Williams. A new exhibit opens on the first Friday of each month, with an opening reception that Details Magazine calls "the biggest and best party in Los Angeles."
Gallery Director Matt Kennedy first came to work for Billy Shire in 1991, and managed the gallery until 1995. It was during his tenure at the original Melrose location of La Luz de Jesus that the Kustom Kulture movement exploded. These years are now recognized as the Golden Age of Lowbrow. Kennedy returned as Gallery Director of La Luz de Jesus in March 2009.