Artist Plastic Jesus showcases an Oscar-inspired statue snorting what looks like cocaine
Artist says it's a commentary on the prevalence of drug abuse in Hollywood
Art installation removed from its spot on Hollywood Boulevard after five hours
The Oscar statuette, seen by many as the film industry’s highest honor, has been given a new and biting spin by a Los Angeles street artist.
Plastic Jesus – the artist prefers not to go by his real name – showcased a life-size Oscar-inspired statue snorting what is intended to look like cocaine on Hollywood Boulevard, just blocks from where the Academy Awards will take place Sunday.
The golden figure is bent over a line of white powder with a credit card lying nearby.
A placard underneath the statue reads, ‘Hollywood’s Best Party.’ The display lasted on the sidewalk near the Dolby Theatre for five hours Thursday before it was removed, but Plastic Jesus hopes his work made a clear statement before Sunday’s biggest bash.
“The Oscars is a very glitzy, high-profile event, so I wanted to bring attention to cocaine use in Hollywood,” the artist told CNN. “It’s part of the culture here.”
Last year, Plastic Jesus came up with a similar stunt to address “the covering up of drug use in Hollywood.” In that installation, the Oscar statue had a needle in its arm, appearing to be shooting up heroin. It was said to be inspired by Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, who had died in New York weeks prior from acute mixed drug intoxication (both heroin and cocaine were contributing factors in his death).
Plastic Jesus is a former photojournalist from London, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Before he set out to expose Hollywood, he created similar social commentary through graffiti featuring Lance Armstrong with an IV bag attached to his arm, a reference to doping allegations against the bicyclist.
“We only hear about (drug abuse) when high-profile people in Hollywood have a meltdown, check into rehab, or die,” Plastic Jesus tells CNN.
“There is a fear among these people that their careers will be ruined if they admit that they have a drug problem.”
Plastic Jesus believes that his art work has the potential to make important change in Hollywood, and beyond.
“Hopefully, my work will help people who have a problem and think they’re alone, but also make a difference on a governmental level. They are not doing enough.”
CNN made multiple attempts to reach the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for comment, as it is famously protective of images of the Oscar statuette.
Plastic Jesus says he has received a lot of support from within the entertainment industry.