New Year’s day, the iconic Hollywood sign was altered to Hollyweed, in honor of great ol’ maryjane. What a great way to start off the new year! But who came up with this brilliant scheme? Two local artists, Zach Fernandez and his former wife Sarah Fern, have been credited for their astonishing, well thought out project, shortly after seeing a photograph of the original “Hollyweed” prank back in 1976. In 1976, California had just relaxed its laws on marijuana. A man by the name of Danny Finegood, who was an art student at Cal State Northridge, changed the sign as part of a school art project and in tribute to the newly developed marijuana laws. He got an A. This inspired Zach Fernandez and, in response, he contacted his ex-wife to help him execute it.
Altering the Hollywood sign is no easy task, and many people have questioned why and how Fernandez and Fern completed it. Vice held an interview to entertain questions the people wanted to know. The artists did a great deal of research beforehand in order to pull off such a wonderful stunt. Fern told Vice, “Zach found a measurement for the height of the letters. So, from there, we kinda just went over every image we could possibly find online and mapped it out and did the math on it,”. Sizing the tarps, that were needed to change the 45-foot O’s into E’s, was not the only thing the two had to worry about; security was another concern. After scoping out the area during a hike a few weeks prior, Fernandez noticed trash and even an American flag next to the sign, giving him the impression that it was not regularly monitored. This gave him the motivation to get the project rolling.
Soon enough, on New Year’s Day the Hollywood sign read “Hollyweed”. Fernandez and Fern completed their message to the world. Vice asked Fernandez, “What do you have to say to those who read all this and still think you’re just some stoner vandal?”. He responded by saying, “My message is to smile, laugh a little, maybe not take life so seriously. Reframe things in other people’s shoes”. Earlier in the interview mentioning, “The main goal of the piece, however, is to bring about conversation”. What a great way to begin 2017!
The rest of the interview can be found at: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/these-guys-claim-theyre-responsible-for-the-hollyweed-signattachments