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Around 8:00 a.m. this morning, a pop-up art installation was placed on Melrose Avenue: A sink for “white” Hollywood and another crummy one for “colored” Hollywood.
The street artist known by the moniker “Plastic Jesus” placed the two sinks — meant to be a reproduction of French photographer Elliott Erwitt’s 1950 photo “Segregated Water Fountains” — at Melrose and Stanley, outside the Urban Outfitters.
In the piece titled “Elliott Erwitt’s Hollywood 2016,” the sink for “white” Hollywood, in addition to a champagne bottle and a credit card with what appears to be a cocaine-like substance, features an Oscar — obvious commentary on zero nonwhite actors being nominated for the honor in acting categories for the second year in a row.
This is not the first time the street artists’ work has made headlines for giving a slap in the face to Tinseltown. Last year, just days before the Academy Awards, a life-size Oscar statuette snorting lines of cocaine was placed on Hollywood Boulevard at La Brea Ave., making local and national headlines.
“America is still racist. Especially the media,” the artist told The Hollywood Reporter about the new piece. “The visibility of Hollywood and the celebration of the Oscars should show how the U.S.A. has embraced diversity. Clearly it hasn’t.”
Plastic Jesus, who does not disclose his real name, says he moved to L.A. almost 10 years ago. He said he chose to mirror Erwitt’s picture to ask the question: “Have we really moved on as far as we could?”
“It’s a very graphic portrayal of the racism during segregation. Shocking in its brutal simplicity,” he says of the photo.
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