This story happened last year, but we thought it was interesting enough that it was worth running, especially in the week after the Oscars.
This is a story about street art. The artist calls himself “Plastic Jesus.” He won’t reveal his true identity but does explain that his art is “inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture and politics.”
A few hours before the Oscar Awards ceremony was scheduled to begin in Hollywood last February, the guerrilla artist installed a piece that was titled, “Hollywood’s Best Party.” The fiberglass image showed the famous Oscar statue on his hands and knees and in the process of snorting two huge lines of cocaine.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the artist explained that his idea was
…to bring attention to LA’s cocaine addiction. Too many people will head off after the show and indulge in cocaine.
Two years ago a similar piece was put up by Plastic Jesus in the same place, and just before the Academy Awards show. That piece was also an Oscar statue, but it had a belt around the upper arm with a needle sticking out above it. It was a reference to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death from a heroin overdose shortly before the event.
Last year’s Oscar art may have been pointing to the fatal drug overdose of Harris Wittels, producer of Parks and Recreation. Plastic Jesus referred to that death in a tweet.
— Plastic Jesus (@plasticjesusart) February 20, 2015
Just like the previous year, the statue was removed before all the stars arrived on the red carpet. As soon as Hollywood police showed up to ask for it to be removed, the artist and his people got it out of the way. His point had apparently been made, although it’s unclear how many in Hollywood got the message.
As you’ll see in the video below, the art received a great deal of positive response. The public appreciated its provocative nature, and rehab groups appreciated its honesty.
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.