Most artists have a keen understanding that shock value is still one of the best ways to get our attention. A clear demonstration of this understanding could be seen this past Thursday on the streets of Hollywood, when the well-known artist, Plastic Jesus, stuck a life-size Oscar statuette snorting lines of cocaine on the sidewalk for passersby to look upon. The placement of this statue was no coincidence, as it happens to be situated down the street from where the red carpet would lie and celebrities would parade during the Annual Academy Awards this past Sunday, February 22.
Plastic Jesus Shocks Hollywood
Photographer Nick Stern, who is in close contact with Plastic Jesus himself, clarified more about the statue. “The piece is intended to draw attention to Hollywood’s hidden problem of drug addiction that effects [sic] hundreds of people in the showbiz industry, and is largely ignored until the death of a high-profile A-list celebrity,” said Stern. His statement reveals that the statue has more to do with spreading awareness of the dangers stemming from substance use disorders like drug addiction, as opposed to glorifying/condoning the use of drugs, which the media is typically accused of doing. Last year, Plastic Jesus took to a similar tactic prior to the Academy Awards when he strategically placed another Oscar statue that stood eight feet tall with a needle in its arm, symbolic of injecting heroin. Mashable reports that this was an alleged response to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 2014 heroin overdose. It was reported that officials of the Academy were not happy with Plastic Jesus’ art from last year and worked diligently to remove it. There is no official word as of yet about whether they will be making the effort to remove this year’s propaganda.
Messages in art
Even though art is subjective, the message that Plastic Jesus is showing here is pretty clear. There are a large amount of drug abuse issues that many celebrities are struggling with, and instead of helping them, we ignore the problem and wait for the next big blockbuster to come out. The artist reported to New York Daily News in 2014 that drug addiction hit close to home when he suffered the tragedy of losing both his cousin and cousin’s wife to overdoses from heroin. The shock value demonstrated by the artwork of Plastic Jesus goes to show how prominently intertwined drugs are in today’s society. Substance use disorders like drug addiction are at an all time rising and devastating high. Sending a message through art about a current issue like drugs can help raise awareness of a disease that millions are suffering from, not just celebrities.
Are you suffering from a substance use disorder like a drug addiction but unsure where to turn? Contact The Watershed for help today. When life becomes intermingled with drugs in society, it can be difficult to see a way out. There is hope and a life beyond the use of alcohol and drugs. Call today at 1-800-861-1768 to begin your path towards freedom.Tags: art, celebrity, celebrity news, drugs, heroin