Emily Baines
January 08, 2017 10:48 am
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Although the first prank of 2017 happened in Los Angeles, it made national headlines when residents of Hollywood woke up to find the iconic “Hollywood” sign changed to “Hollyweed.” Well, the person responsible for the makeover, who goes by the name Jesus Hands, is now claiming that this was art, not vandalism. (We wonder what he thinks of all the delightful Hollyweed memes that have popped up all over the Internet.)

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the artist about his work.

And his responses were pretty fascinating.

1He did it out of “love and a certain peace” from within.

Hands said that he felt 2016 was a tough year. So he wanted 2017 to be about personal growth. Inspired by similar stunts from the past, he considered what he was doing to be art.

2He actually “cleaned up” the area around the sign.

The whole work took a few hours, and he found it to be a very “spiritual experience.” And, in the creation process, he even took the time to beautify the area.

3He does not fear legal repercussions.

Jesus Hands believes that what he was doing was expressing himself.

4 He believes in the message.

He said what he was doing was much more than a joke. It was spreading a beautiful message that people can connect with and remember for a long time.

Well, he’s definitely started the new year off with a bang. We will be interested to see what happens next to Jesus Hands — not to mention the Hollywood sign.