Where in the world is Vladimir Lenin? One of our sharp-eyed readers alerted us a few days ago that the giant Lenin-head statue (formally titled “Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin’s Head”) recently removed from its long-time location outside the former Ace Museum at 4th and La Brea, has now been spotted in the Mojave Desert, near Newberry Springs, CA (not far from Barstow). According to posts in the Facebook group Explorers of the Mojave Desert, the statue is now sitting on a private property in the area, only partially reconstructed…but nothing more is known at this time. (At least one other Facebook group contains a similar posting, but also lacks any further information.)
One local LA art expert speculated that the statue’s only partial reconstruction (some of the photos show its topmost piece – the tiny Mao figure balancing on top of Lenin’s head – lying on the ground behind the rest of the statue) may signal that the current location is only temporary, since a crane would needed to lift that final piece back into place. The fact that this has not been done could indicate another move is anticipated soon. (Also, the address of the desert property seems to be home to a trucking/moving company (or at least an individual truck driver), which could support the temporary location theory.)
The statue is the work of the Gao Brothers, a Chinese sibling team, who have said that the piece is too politically charged to easily return it to their native China. They were forced to remove it from the La Brea location, however, after the Ace Museum was evicted from the property for non-payment of rent.