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Feline fine: downtown Denver gets new cat installation

Kelly Monico, Alley Cats (2018) courtesy of the artist and Black Cube

An alleyway in Denver has been invaded by a group of 300 life-sized feline tchotchkes in a semi-cute, semi-frightening installation by the local artist, Kelly Monico. The work, Alley Cats, is one of five site-specific outdoor commissions along the city’s 16th Street Mall for Between Us: the Downtown Denver Alleyways Project (15 June-May 2019), mounted by the contemporary arts non-profit Black Cube Nomadic Museum. The idea of the project—appropriate for Monico’s subject—is to make the city “more curious”, says Cortney Stell, Black Cube’s executive director and chief curator. People were already flocking to Alley Cats during the work’s installation this week. “It’s bringing cat lovers out of the woodwork,” Stell says. Some are less fond of felines. Of the five Alleyways Project commissions, which required negotiations with tenants and owners of neighbouring buildings, this was the hardest to place, and has been “very polarising”, Stell says. “I actually had a building owner suggest dogs to me instead of cats.”