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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Westwood Cher shrub

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments....

Figure 25. Westwood: Shaved shrub serves as shelter for Cher statuette

Westwood was annexed into Denver in 1947, but it manages to maintain its country-bumpkin charms. The diagonal dissection of Morrison Road gives the neighborhood the feel of a once prosperous Midwestern city bypassed by the interstate highway in 1962. Perhaps because of this, and the fact that it is one of the most eclectically diverse neighborhoods in the city, it is also feels like the most quintessentially American. On any given day, practically everyone is dressed in the jerseys of their favorite sports stars. Yard artists are even more prolific, with good old American celebrity worship pouring out into their yards.

The finest example of celebrity-worship yard art may be the shrubbed Cher pictured in figure 25. The umbrella-shaped sheltering trim of the topiary indicates that the homeowner has a strong need to protect and nurture the American singer/actress. The pose and dress of the statuette suggest that Cher was at her best during her "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" years. That her left hand is actually shaped like a left foot hints at the concept of the human quadruped, which is a clever sight gag employed by this yard artist to demonstrate that he may actually "Believe" in Cher's ability to "Turn Back Time."

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


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