Last week, an artist who calls himself Jesus Hands sat for a brief interview with The Hollywood Reporter and, in the process, claimed responsibility for transforming the iconic Hollywood sign into “Hollyweed” on New Year’s Day. He argued that making this alteration was not an act of vandalism, but one of “love” and “art.” As it happens, the Los Angeles Police Department disagreed, and Jesus Hands was promptly arrested.
According to THR, 30-year-old Jesus Hands, née Zachary Cole Fernandez, turned himself in on Monday, accompanied by his attorney. LAPD officer Tony Im tells THR that Fernandez was “arrested and booked for trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.” Despite claiming the deed, Fernandez has not yet been found guilty—officially—of altering the sign. His court date is set for February 15.
In the meantime, Fernandez would have you consider the following:
“I did it out of love and a certain peace from within. 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people. You got hurt, and then you grew. 2017 is the perfect year to conjure up the growth. It was a very personal thing at first, and it still is. I hold it very personal. It was a personal thing, and a tribute to the artist (who did a similar stunt in 1976), the late Daniel Finegood. I felt his message speak to me, and it felt like that message needed to be shared. It was honestly just a work of art, but it becomes so much more because of people’s interpretations of it. Pot art. That’s what it is.”
I will almost certainly smoke more weed in 2017 (I expect the uptick in usage to begin on January 20). Alas, I can’t say that Jesus Hands’s “pot art” will serve as the direct catalyst.