A provocative street art statue depicting the famous golden Academy Awards icon shooting heroin into its arm was stirring up some controversy as Hollywood stars prepared to walk down the red carpet at tinsel town’s biggest event.
The 8-foot statue, inspired by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic overdose last month, was installed on LA’s Hollywood Boulevard on Friday, not far from where the 86th annual Academy Awards were taking place today.
“Hard drugs are still seen as a taboo subject, with people using in the privacy of their own home or hotel room and afraid of the consequences if the world finds out about their addiction,” the artist Plastic Jesus said in a statement. “My piece is intended to say ‘let’s be aware of the issue, remove the stigma enable people to get help and support’.”
An inscription on the bottom of the statue reads “Hollywood’s best kept secret,” and the L.A.-based British street artist says at one point he had to shift the piece after he suspected Academy Award people of trying to move it.
@TheLAScene I had a guy there, said someone who looked like they were from the academy tried to remove it. Its back safe in the studio
— Plastic Jesus (@plasticjesusart) February 28, 2014
The work is currently on Melrose Avenue where it continues to garner mixed reactions, especially on social media. A few found the statue distasteful.
You disgust me @plasticjesusart
— SHANE HARTLINE (@ShaneHartline) March 1, 2014
While others loved it.
— A.V. (@AVRockwell) March 2, 2014