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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Cornball bronze outbreak in Belcaro

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 34. Belcaro: Middle-aged lesbian children read book while Shelley Winters does a snail lift

The Belcaro neighborhood takes its name from the Italian word that means beautiful and dear, and residents want to keep it that way. The entire neighborhood is maintained by professional home and garden stylists to such a high level of beauty and dearness that ugly and unpleasant visitors are actually repelled. The Polo Grounds, located on the northern boundary of Belcaro, is so beautiful and dear that the streets are patrolled by a private police force that has the power to arrest plug-ugly citizens who don't belong. Yard arteologists are unwelcome here as well, and must perform their investigations while stowed away in a friend's floral delivery van to avoid receiving a failure-to-be-beautiful-and-dear summons. Needless to say, the yard art variety ranges from ransacked antiquities to highly polished bronzes of middle-aged models posing as children.

The yard art bronzes pictured in figure 34 suggest that the homeowner doesn't know much about art but knows what he likes. The poses of the children sitting on the bench indicate that the bronze artist responsible for these works has spent little time actually observing how real children sit to read a book and instead asked a couple of members of her Manopausals Anonymous support group to sit as models. The bronze boy on the right hints that the artist's children have all gone off to college and her only available model was her mother, who posed in her a short-sleeved sweater set and backward baseball cap to appear more boyish. The inclusion of oversize glasses begs the viewer to look past the toddler's unnaturally limber leg lift and one-legged balancing stance and accept beauty and dearness over artistic honesty.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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