Kenny Be's Yard Arteology:Yardada Art Garden

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 5. Villa Park: Yardada Art Garden

For many, the practice of yard art starts with the purchase of a ready-made ornament from the garden store and ends with its tasteful display as the focal point of a favored flower bed. For a tiny few, however, the yard is a vast canvas on which to compose their continuous cache of collectibles, each chosen purely for visual interest. This type of yard art, known internationally as the "Yardada" movement, is often perceived by neighbors as a "trash heap" that serves no other purpose than to "drive down property values." Nothing could be further from the truth. Yardada is a protest against bourgeois suburbanity that attempts, through trinket overload, to reject culture and conformity.

The cleanliness of this garden is a testimony to the dedication of the artist. There are no weeds or wind-blown trash to block the insane spectacle of this collective sacrilege. Snakes slither over doves, a footless dinosaur crawls over a happy-faced frog and angel birds hover above a broken clock. The deliberate placement of every toy part, sea shell and plastic flower indicates that the artist is a true master who believes that when cast-off cultural knickknacks are placed together, enough ambient energy is created to change the world. The light bulbs placed in the garden, without fixtures, suggests that there may even be enough energy output to light this display throughout the night.

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