STORY and PHOTOGRAPHS by K.B. DIXON
While the Portland Art Museum and our local galleries have returned to a sort of pre-Covid normalcy, their attendance has not—not yet. It’s understandable. These remain peculiar, variant-addled times. For the trepidatious aestheticians out there who still prefer the contagion-free confines of their car, I am adding a brief addendum to my previous photo essays on the open-air museum that is Portland’s street art (An Open Air Museum, An Open Air Museum, Part 2) with this brief consideration of the humble lawn ornament.
Most such ornaments are admittedly maudlin mediocrities, but occasionally you will run across one that time, neglect, and nature have worked their magic on—one that has been transformed, turned from a trite, sentiment-soaked tchotchke into a quasi-surreal object of aesthetic interest.