Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

“Miss Mao…” Lenin-Head Statue Spotted in Mojave Desert

Photo courtesy of the Everything Yermo Facebook page. Used with permission.

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.

Photo courtesy of the Everything Yermo Facebook page. Used with permission.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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  1. As of Friday, May 20, 2022…it is STILL there. However, given that the ACTUAL STATUE is now on display in San Antonio, TX…I can only assume that the Newberry Springs, CA version is NOT the original. “Lenin, Mao sculpture kicks off downtown San Antonio art enclave – March 23, 2022”
    Maybe a prototype?


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