Just in time for this Sunday’s Academy Awards, a gold statue resembling an Oscar with a syringe in its arm was erected at Hollywood Boulevard on Friday morning.
The artist behind the sculpture, known as Plastic Jesus, told LA Weekly that the work was inspired by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s recent death. Coincidentally, hours after the statue was put up, an autopsy report revealed that Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine. Plastic Jesus said his cousin and his cousin’s wife also overdosed on heroin.
The 8-foot-tall store mannequin is meant to call attention to “Hollywood’s best kept secret” (as noted on its pedestal) and break the stigma attached to drug use.
After a passerby, who identified herself as a city official, threatened to confiscate the artwork, Plastic Jesus removed the statue. He tweeted that he plans to bring it back on Sunday.