How the Chicken Boy Wound Up in Highland Park

Graphic designer Amy Inoyue explains

Graphic designer Amy Inouye on how a colossal half-man-half-chicken landed in Highland park.

“I came here to go to art school in the ’70s and would drive by the Chicken Boy restaurant downtown late at night. I never ate there but have been told that it was really delicious. I’ve also been told it was terrible, so take your pick. But the giant man-with-a-chicken-head statue on the roof was my welcoming committee.

One night I’m driving by, and the place is boarded up. I started calling with, ‘Hey, what’s gonna happen with the statue?’ They said, ‘If you’re so concerned, come and get him.’ He was 22 feet tall! It was very impulsive. He’s fiberglass, but the head is funky folk art: It’s fence posts and chicken wire. It’s insane, and that’s part of his charm. After keeping him in storage for years, we moved him to our art studio on Figueroa in 2002. It took years to get the permits to put him up on the roof. Little kids love him; it’s the magic of roadside California.”

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