A life-sized piece of artwork is turning plenty of heads in Hollywood just blocks from the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars will be held Sunday.
A gold statue with arms spread out, a loincloth around its waist and a crown of thorns around its head was revealed Wednesday along Hollywood Boulevard, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Despite the reference to the crucifixion of Christ, the face of the statue looks a lot like someone else. Jewelry is seen around the statue’s neck, and the phrase “false idol” are engraved on the front of the base.
The man who created the artwork identified himself only as “Plastic Jesus” and said the statue is of Kanye West.
“I would say the message is this: By all means, treat and respect these people. [They] are artists, but don’t make them into gods — because we crucify our gods,” the man told the Hollywood Reporter. “The piece is intended to be as critical of us as consumers and the media as it is of Kanye himself. We’ve created this idol from somebody who is clearly talented.”
“He’s a genius at writing and producing but he’s not a God, and that’s where we put him. Until there’s an issue in his life or a hiccup in his career, then we crucify him,” he added, referring to West being criticized in the past for statements he made about singer Taylor Swift. More recently, West told an audience that he didn’t vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election, but if he would have, “I would have voted for Trump.”
“We’ve seen it before with people like Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan,” the man known as Plastic Jesus said. “The same people who put him into a god-like place are the same yapping at his heels for a piece of flesh when something happens.”
The Instagram photo shows the statue in front of a WeWork office building in Hollywood, less than three blocks from site of Sunday’s 89th annual Academy Awards.
The statue is just the latest piece of artwork for which Plastic Jesus has made headlines in recent years. His previous pieces have included an Oscars statue on its hands and knees snorting cocaine, another with a heroine needle in its arm — a reference to actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death from a 2014 drug overdose — and a third depicting steroid-plagued Lance Armstrong hooked up to an IV and riding on a bike.
Plastic Jesus was also the mastermind behind constructing a tiny wall around President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to Rolling Stone. The miniature wall was meant to protest the president’s controversial immigration policies, which include building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.