Plastic Jesus (artist)

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Plastic Jesus (artist)
Known forstreet art, contemporary art, collaborations
Movementcontemporary art, street art

Plastic Jesus is an anonymous street artist of British descent, labeled by the Daily Beast as the "Banksy of L.A.".[1] Plastic Jesus produces provocative and subversive street installations, including a 6-inch wall he circled around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016.[2]

Street art[edit]

Plastic Jesus was trained as a photojournalist and shifted his practice from the camera to street installations in order better address major sociopolitical and cultural issues.[3][4]

"Best Buy, Useless Plastic Box", 2013[edit]

In 2013, Plastic Jesus targeted the Best Buy chain, covertly placing black boxes that he constructed alongside the store's high priced electronics.[5] The boxes had fake price tags for $99.99 and labels that read: "Useless Plastic box 1.2. Another gadget you don't really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of use."[6] The intention of the project was to comment on the United States' infatuation with technology and need to own its latest trends.[7]

Oscar Installations, 2014-ongoing[edit]

Days before the 2014 Academy Awards, Plastic Jesus installed a life-sized golden statue of an Oscar injecting heroin in his arm in Hollywood. This work, controversial in and of itself for its commentary on drug use in Hollywood, made an even greater impact since actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has recently died from a heroin overdose.[8] With this piece, as well as the Oscar snorting cocaine he installed the following year, Plastic Jesus focuses a spotlight on drug abuse within the entertainment industry.[9][10][11] In 2016, Plastic Jesus installed his first female Oscar, a golden stripper referencing the objectification of women in Hollywood; in 2017, it was the rapper Kanye West re-imagined as a golden, crucified Jesus.[12][13] In 2018, Plastic Jesus created a lifesize, golden statue of Harvey Weinstein in a bathrobe on a casting couch with an Academy Award.[14]

"No Kardashian Parking Anytime", 2015[edit]

In 2015, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti implemented a six-month testing period where new street signs designed to improve parking conditions would be put up throughout the city.[15] Plastic Jesus added his own street signs to the mix that read "No Kardashian Parking Anytime," to offer his perspective on our culture's obsession with celebrities and false idols, including the Kardashian family. [16][17] The artist intended for the signs to be both a critique of reality television and also an indictment of the city for enabling the paparazzi to swarm public places.[18]

Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, 2016[edit]

In 2016, then-Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump announced his plan to build a wall alongside the border between the United States and Mexico to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.[19] As a response against this plan, Plastic Jesus built a 6-inch concrete wall topped with razor wire, miniature U.S. flags and signs that read 'Keep Out' written in both Spanish and English to encircle Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[2][20][21] Trump received the star in 2007 for his role on The Apprentice and, prior to Plastic Jesus' installation, it had been vandalized on several occasions.[22]

Donald Trump Internment Camp Signs, 2017[edit]

In the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, Plastic Jesus was inspired again to use Donald Trump as fodder for his art, this time commenting on Trump's executive order on immigration.[23] The artist crafted a series of signs that he posted on vacant lots and building sites in cities throughout the country with the text "Lot Reserved For: Future Internment Camp" printed above an image of the United States' Seal.[24] The signs draw a connection between Trump's travel ban and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; for instance, the text "Executive Order 9066" is a direct reference to the order originally signed in 1942 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to forcibly remove Japanese Americans from their homes and place them in internment camps.[25]


  1. ^ Yamato, Jen (2017-01-30). "'Banksy of L.A.' Plastic Jesus Trolls Kardashians with Latest Work". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  2. ^ a b "US election: Artist builds wall around Trump's Hollywood star". BBC News. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  3. ^ "Behind the Coked-Out Oscar: Artist Wants to Shatter Hollywood's Glossy Exterior". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  4. ^ "How a British photojournalist became Plastic Jesus in LA -". 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  5. ^ Fairchild, Caroline (2013-08-12). "Best Buy Prankster Channels Banksy, Puts 'Useless Plasticbox' On Shelves (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  6. ^ "Street artist Plastic Jesus pranks Los Angeles Best Buys". Los Angeles Times. 2013-08-13. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  7. ^ News, A. B. C. (2013-08-16). "'Useless Plastic Box' Pulled from Best Buy Shelves". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  8. ^ "Photo: Oscars Statue With Heroin Needle In Arm Appears In Hollywood". LAist. Archived from the original on 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  9. ^ "Philip Seymour Hoffman's death inspires Oscar 'heroin' statue by Hollywood artist". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  10. ^ Yamato, Jen (2017-01-30). "Plastic Jesus's Coke-Snorting Oscar: The Academy's Public Enemy No. 1 Speaks". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  11. ^ "Street Artist Plastic Jesus Puts Life-Size Cocaine-Snorting Oscar Statue on Hollywood Boulevard | artnet News". artnet News. 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  12. ^ Romero, Dennis (2016-02-26). "Artist Imagines Oscar as a Stripper (PHOTOS)". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  13. ^ Dicker, Ron (2017-02-23). "Praise Yeezus! Kanye West Jesus Statue Rises In Hollywood". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  14. ^ "Harvey Weinstein 'Casting Couch' statue unveiled ahead of Oscars". 2 March 2018 – via Reuters.
  15. ^ LA, Mayor Garcetti Signs "Vision Zero" Executive Directive to End Traffic Deaths in (2015-08-24). "Mayor Garcetti Signs "Vision Zero" Executive Directive to End Traffic Deaths in LA". Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  16. ^ "Street artists posts 'No Kardashian Parking Anytime' signs around L.A." Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  17. ^ "'No Kardashian' signs put up in Los Angeles". The Independent. 2015-04-08. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  18. ^ "Plastic Jesus's Anti-Kardashian Street Art - artnet News". artnet News. 2015-04-08. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  19. ^ "Donald Trump's Mexico wall: Who is going to pay for it?". BBC News. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  20. ^ "Artist mocks Donald Trump with 'wall' around Walk of Fame star". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  21. ^ "Street Artist Plastic Jesus Erects Tiny Wall Around Donald Trump's Star On the Hollywood Walk of Fame". Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  22. ^ "Artist Builds Wall Around Donald Trump Hollwood Star -artnet News". artnet News. 2016-07-21. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  23. ^ "A Conversation with the Artist Behind Those 'Future Internment Camps'". Esquire. 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  24. ^ "Street Artist Marks "Future Internment Camps" Around the US". Hyperallergic. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  25. ^ "Signs Designating "Future Internment Camp" Go Up At Empty Lots Nationwide". LAist. Archived from the original on 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2017-06-16.