Los Angeles-based street artist – Plastic Jesus – often crosses lines with his controversial art, where is known for using satire, criticism and humour to engage and make accessible various political, urban and socio-economic issues. And lines it was, when on Thursday, 19 February 2015, the artist placed a life-sized cocaine-snorting Oscar statuette on LA’s Hollywood Boulevard. A pre-party laid to rest, the statue’s location and arrival time was no co-incidence – it was placed at La Brea Avenue, at the edge the street which was closed prior to The 2015 Oscars | 87th Academy Awards that took place on Sunday, 22 February ’15


Nick Stern, a photographer who works with the artist, tells us that the statue is also a commentary on Hollywood culture. He speaks on behalf of Plastic Jesus:

The piece is intended to draw attention to Hollywood’s hidden problem of drug addiction that effects hundreds of people in the showbiz industry and is largely ignored until the death of a high profile A-list celebrity. (Stern)

He publicizes the picture of an in-and-out life in excess and gross gratification… hedonism and narcissism. Nonetheless, we’re all pawns to the system – (k)nobs that keep the capitalist wheel rolling – be it waiting out a regular late-night corner shift; or for that bond to be approved; 5pm to arrive; Better Days; a quick fix; freedom, bought; or for someone to talk to you while you sit making the Big Decisions. Ultimately, Plastic Jesus creates art that is ubiquitous – and he’s got bravado. Boundaries overstepped, perhaps. But, that happens every day, in mediums or journals that the public cannot get hold of or are not accessible and thus we don’t look for them. The Financial Times, The Economist – they might come across as elitist – and there are articles which indeed are. Oh, yeah, you also have to pay for them – unlike this piece of public art that pulls the middle finger at Capitalism.

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