Place

How Chicken Boy got to Highland Park

chicken-boy.jpgSure, it's an old and pretty familiar Los Angeles story by now. But there are always new arrivals who discover Highland Park and wonder, logically enough, why a giant fiberglass man in a chicken head lurks over Figueroa Street. So for them, Vice revisits the story of how designer Amy Inouye saved Chicken Boy from the landfill and, after 23 years of perseverance, had the Boy mounted over the studio she shares with artist husband Stuart Rapeport.

An excerpt from Vice:

Amy Inouye first met the fiberglass statue she calls Chicken Boy in the early 1970s. She had just moved to Los Angeles to attend the ArtCenter College of Design; Chicken Boy loomed above her school commute, the towering, 22-foot-tall mascot of an eponymous fried chicken restaurant in Downtown LA.


With the body of a strapping, Bunyan-esque man, the head of a cartoon chicken, and his goofy, cross-eyed gaze, Inouye came to find comfort in his hulking presence. "If he's OK, I'll be OK," she tells VICE she often thought to herself as she drove by her first true LA friend. He was an antidote to the sprawling metropolis, a fellow outsider watching over her from above....

But one day, Inouye came to discover that her friend was in grave danger, and the only one who could save him was her.

[skip to the present day]

"But why?" I ask Inouye, when I visit her at Chicken Boy's home. "Why devote so much time to a chicken that can't thank you?"

"Because it's fun," Inouye said. "This is America, and America is about weird stuff on the road. These things exist, and people love them. That's what it comes down to: It's fun."

For a little more reading, here is the LA Observed post from the day Chicken Boy went up on the roof. Also there's the visit Chicken Boy paid to Yosemite National Park.


More by Kevin Roderick:
LA Observed Notes: LA Times meets new editor, LA Weekly soon will, Gadot says no more
Disney cancels ban on working with LA Times
LA Observed Notes: Shame on Disney, a runner writes and more
LAist goes dark
LA Observed Notes: LAT's turn to break sex harassment news
Recent Place stories on LA Observed:
LA Observed Notes: LA Times meets new editor, LA Weekly soon will, Gadot says no more
LA Observed Notes: Shame on Disney, a runner writes and more
LA Observed Notes: LAT's turn to break sex harassment news
LA Observed Notes: Arellano out, Weinstein expelled, Sarah Polley talks truth
Exits from the Daily News and LAT, mom dress code for Hollywood, more notes
Tronc buys (NY) Daily News, La Tuna fire aftermath and more
Garcetti has weekend date in the Hamptons
LA Observed Notes: Back from vacation and into the fray


 

LA Observed on Twitter