Photographer and artist Paho Mann has photographed almost two dozen re-inhabited Circle K convenience stores in the Phoenix, New Mexico area. As the company began moving its stores to more profitable locations in the 1990s, “the shells left by this migration were filled by small businesses, each inhabiting an architecturally identical structure. The new occupants painted, put up a new signs, and modified windows and doors.”
The result is a fascinating look at the creativity and individuality of local business people and provides an intriguing look at the history of the region.
It’s also flat-out kooky, a sensibility that often appeals to me.
I can’t explain it, but ideas and images like this inspire me like few others. I look at one of these re-imagined Circle K’s and think that I could probably write a novel about each one. I can’t help but imagine the people working inside, and just like that, characters begin to take shape in my mind.
Also, for connoisseurs of the film classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the Circle K brings back some rather fond memories as well.