Man Creates Paris Hilton Christmas Shrine
CRANSTON, R.I. – See Paris Hilton in all her seductive splendor, striking a provocative pose for passing motorists and spreading hot Christmas cheer in a chilly Rhode Island winter.
Blown-up images of Hilton and strings of pink Christmas lights adorn the front lawn of a home in a middle-class neighborhood of this city, part of a head-turning holiday display that pays homage to the famed hotel heiress.
The over-the-top pictorial is the work of Joe Moretti, a 38-year-old designer who was arrested last year for trespassing on Martha Stewart's property in Maine.
Passersby get an eyeful of Hilton sporting a tiny pink top hiding little of her chest, or wearing knee-high boots and a sultry pout or holding a finger to her lips. Even Hilton's faithful Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, is celebrated in a colorful portrait.
"If it's offending anyone, I apologize," Moretti said in a telephone interview Thursday.
"That's not the intent. The intent is to be different and to be creative and let them see a little bit of Hollywood or New York — bring it to Cranston," Moretti explained.
A number of cars slowed or came to a complete stop on the busy road as they passed Moretti's house Thursday afternoon, the better to ogle a life-sized shot of Hilton with high boots, legs spread and eyes partly closed.
Moretti's display includes a list entitled "How to Be a Hilton," complete with tips such as: "An entrance is everything," "NEVER wake before 10 a.m." and "NEVER spend the summer in NYC."
Neighbors in Cranston, just south of Providence, had mixed reactions.
"It's nothing more than they could see on TV, on normal stations — or actually at school," said Stefanie D'Angelos, 28, who has four children.
Added Frank DelSanto, who said he was near 80: "People should not be ashamed of their sexuality — male or female."
But others were bothered.
"It has nothing to do with the holiday, and it doesn't suggest anything that's appropriate to this time of year," said Judy Gershman, 57, who said she had hadn't looked closely at the display.
Ron Raffonelli, 65, said he would be upset if his young grandchildren came to associate Christmas with naked woman. He'd prefer the kids to think of Santa Claus instead.
After all, Raffonelli said, "He's been around longer."
This is the latest in a series of artistic lawn displays decorating Moretti's lawn. Last year, he paid tribute to Martha Stewart even as he and another man faced charges for sneaking on to the domestic maven's property. The charges were later dismissed, and the men donated money to public libraries near the property. Moretti calls the incident a "big misunderstanding."
Moretti has made past tributes to Madonna, Princess Diana and Liberace.
He came upon his latest subject after meeting Hilton in a store in the Hamptons, and said he found himself fascinated.
"She was just very sweet," Moretti recalled. "So I said, 'Wow, this year I think I'm going to do a Paris Hilton Christmas.'"