Charles Phoenix Archive
A Statement by Charles Phoenix
These photographs were not destined to be shown in a gallery. They were printed between from 35mm slides taken by amateur photographers between 1945 and 1964. Most of these slides were probably shown in the family room once or twice and then put away, likely never to see the light of a projector's bulb again... until I found them.
I found my life's work in a thrift shop when I began collecting other people's old slides quite by chance ten years ago. I first stepped into a thrift shop when I was fourteen years old to look for a cowboy shirt after being cast in the chorus of a community theater production of Oklahoma. Immediately I was fascinated by the possibility of finding unique vintage treasures and my thrift shopping habit was quickly formed. After nearly two decades of thrift shopping, I happened upon an old blue shoe box marked "Trip Across the United States 1957." It was full of old 35mm Kodachrome slides. I held a few up to the light, and knew instantly that I had found a real treasure. I began searching for more. And just about every time I went out I would find a collection. The slides inspired my imagination. I learned from them and I loved the way they connected me with real history. This is a truth that Hollywood cannot reproduce. Soon my place became cluttered with boxes full of old slides and I wanted to share them.