See our latest: Statue of Oscar Shooting Heroin Hits Melrose (PHOTOS)
A gold-colored sculpture that looks like an Academy Awards Oscar statuette, except that this one appears to be shooting up heroin, will be making appearances this weekend, the artist behind the provocative work, Plastic Jesus, told LA Weekly.
He said the piece was inspired in part by the heroin-overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. But it was also inspired by the heroin-overdose deaths of Plastic Jesus' cousin and his cousin's wife, the artist told us. A statement on the 8-foot statue reads, "Hollywood's best kept secret."
The statue was installed about 3:30 this morning ...
... on a median at Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. Plastic Jesus publicized the location of the statue via Instagram.
However, after a woman in a Range Rover allegedly drove up, got out, and attempted to take the piece this afternoon, it was removed. Plastic Jesus says the woman identified herself as a city official, but he suspects otherwise.
He stashed the work for safekeeping but says it will be out on the streets again this weekend, time and place TBA.
The piece is a "highly modified shop mannequin" painted with gold acrylic and adorned with a belt, Plastic Jesus said. The syringe is real, but the needle was replaced with wire to make it safer, he said.
He wants the spotlight that comes with the Academy Awards' weekend to shine on his statement. The event's organizers, he alleged, "like to see the Oscars as an untarnished event without a hint of the underbelly of distaste."
"It will go back out to get as many people to see it as possible," the L.A.-based British artist said.
We contacted the Academy for its response but had yet to hear back.
Plastic Jesus thinks Hollywood is in denial about drug use not only among stars but among everyday production workers.
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The tragedy is the unrecorded deaths from drug addiction. Hardcore drug use is a very taboo subject and people are reluctant to seek help.