Shocking, yet thought provoking — a statue of the famous golden Academy Awards icon shooting heroin into its arm is creating some controversy.
The artist Plastic Jesus calls the 8-foot statue "Hollywood's Best Kept Secret," inspired, in part, by the death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year. (Via Instagram / plasticjesus)
It was installed on LA's Hollywood Boulevard Friday just days before the Oscars. Also that day — an autopsy revealed Hoffman's official cause of death. (Via E!)
The Oscar-winning actor was found dead February 2. Friday, the medical examiner confirmed Hoffman died of a mixed drug intoxication, which included heroin. (Via KABC)
The artist says the idea behind the statue was to raise awareness about heroin use in hopes of removing the stigma around drug use so people can get help.
The British-born artist told The Wrap his cousin and his cousin's partner died of heroin overdoses.
"In Hollywood people almost proudly boast that they’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous ... However, with hard drug use, there’s still so much of a stigma attached. It’s swept under the carpet and people don’t get the support that should be available to them.”
No official word yet from The Academy. However, Plastic Jesus did have to move the statue.
He tweeted, "I had a guy there, said someone who looked like they were from the academy tried to remove it. Its back safe in the studio." (Via Twitter / PlasticJesusart)
Now the statue resides on Melrose Avenue. Some, though, are totally against the statue no matter the location.
Like VH1 Host Naughty But Nice Rob, who called the piece tasteless on Twitter. (Via Twitter / NaughtyNiceRob)
Others are all for it. Another user tweeted, "Powerful. Disturbing. Smart. Genius." (Via Twitter / LucaHarb)
Either way, it's got people thinking, which Plastic Jesus told Complex was his intention all along.