WHAT: “False Idol,” a life-size golden statue of Kanye West in Los Angeles.
WHO: Pop culture-evoking street artist Plastic Jesus.
WHY WE CARE: “Jesus Walks” was one of the first songs that ignited Kanye West’s meteoric rise. While the artist re-embraced the gospel on his soul-searching latest album, over the years there have been times when Kanye seemed to drift away from reverence for his chosen savior to almost a sense of competition. The Beatles once famously claimed they were bigger than Jesus, but Kanye West is an artist who, one senses, suspects he might be better than Jesus. “False Idol” is a piece that cuts to the core of what happens when tremendous ego meets tremendous acclaim, depicting the musician as a solid gold Jesus statue. Kanye appears in the LA sculpture with his arms outstretched, while wearing a crown of thorns, hand-nails, and of course, his own brand of sneakers. Check out some of Plastic Jesus’s previous cultural commentary here and here.