With the Oscars just days away, local artist-slash-Hollywood-commentator Plastic Jesus has displayed his latest work of Academy Awards-themed art: a large golden statue of a stripper outfitted with nipple tassels, high heels, and a pole, on display at Hollywood Boulevard, near La Brea.
He says the piece is meant to draw attention to “the darker underside of life in Hollywood,” which often gets swept under the red carpet. “The Oscars are a hugely glitzy ceremony where life is wonderful, but there’s this darker underbelly,” he says. “The inspiration behind the piece was the people who come to Hollywood chasing some dream and end up stripping. There are people within the industry who enjoy it, and are doing it by choice, but I would guess the majority are not.”
The installation is not his first commentary on Hollywood. His critique of racism, based on Elliott Erwitt’s iconic photograph of two drinking fountains in the segregated South, garnered attention when it went up on Melrose Avenue on February 3. Before last year’s Oscars, he installed a live-sized statue snorting lines of cocaine, and the year before—following the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman—he made a statue that appeared to be shooting up with a syringe.