Kitsch and Tell

Known far and wide for his coffee-table travel books (and privately for being something of a pack rat; his Silver Lake, California, home is reportedly overflowing with pole lamps and Krispy Kans and large plastic philodendrons), kitsch king Charles Phoenix is becoming even better known for his wacky comedy slide shows. The images, all from the collector's gargantuan stash of slides taken during other people’s long-ago vacations, are strung together with the former fashion designer’s hilarious commentary about these often-captivating, frequently unrelated Kodachrome moments in time.

Most of his slides and old home movies come from thrift stores and estate sales, a fact that makes one think twice about tossing out old snapshots, lest they become found art at the hands of the charming Mr. Phoenix. In the meantime, we’re happy to attend his annual holiday slide show, in which he reclaims the family torture of reliving last Christmas and turns it into a laugh riot.

Wed., Dec. 5, 7 p.m., 2007
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela