Notorious Los Angeles street artist PLASTIC JESUS has a created hugely controversial art installation in the middle of Hollywood on the corner of La Brea and Hollywood Blvd. to speak out on drug related deaths in Hollywood. The artist, who is known for his commentary on controversial issues, constructed an 8 foot replica of an Oscar shooting heroin into its arm.  The artist has released the following statement: “From Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, Heath Ledger, and more recently Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s only when there is a tragic death of a high profile celebrity that the issue makes the news. However, almost every week someone in the industry dies from the effects of drug use”.  PLASTIC JESUS calls attention to this tragic issue in the hopes that people will take it more seriously.  The artist has a personal connection to the issue having lost two close relatives to heroin addiction. An inscription on the bottom of the statue reads “Hollywood’s best kept secret.” The new piece is intended to pull back the curtain as the industry gathers for its biggest party, he said.  This was perceived as “rude” because it was not too long ago that Philip Seymour Hoffman was found unresponsive in his NYC apt on Feb. 2, after injecting heroin and other drugs into his arm. Some people said that maybe it was too soon for that kind of humor.  Mr. Jesus spoke told TheWrap on Saturday that he wants to end the stigma surrounding hard drug use so that addicts — such as Hoffman — will get the help they need. Plastic Jesus said his cousin and her partner both died of heroin overdoses. “I’m not out there shouting for the abolition of all drugs,” said the British-born artist, who is in his mid-40s and has been in Los Angeles for the last decade. “The piece is really to bring attention about the lack of understanding and support. … In Hollywood people almost proudly boast that they’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. That’s a good thing. 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.  
Oscar officials were not too pleased with the statue that was on display just blocks away from where the Academy Awards were held on Sunday night, March 2.  L.A.-based British street artist says at one point he had to shift the piece after he suspected Academy Award people of trying to move it.  Which is probably not a terrible thing because it likely would have made a lot of people really, really upset at what is already going to be an emotional Academy Awards ceremony. 
The work is currently on Melrose Avenue where it continues to garner mixed reactions, especially on social media. A few found the statue distasteful. 
Plastic Jesus has gained international notoriety for his graffiti image of Lance Armstrong with an intravenous drip attached to his bike.  He also installed fake products at a half dozen Best Buy stores around Los Angeles with realistic signs that said “Useless Plastic Box 1.2” and “$99.99.