The Hollywood sign landmark is a cultural icon and an emblem of status characterized as ostentatious. Leo Braudy’s discussion on his book The Hollywood Sign deciphers it as an American ideal of self-recognition. Hollywood, a place to strive for but never attain. It’s a metonymy for the film industry, real estate, rock and roll, freeways, and all the other LA shit you can think of.

The sign was meant to be seen from Wilshire Blvd, to propagate car culture and in its 100 years of existence, has cemented its status an indelible international icon. This publication highlights the many ways the Hollywood sign has been defaced; a documentation of alterations fashioned by those who see the sign as malleable and subversive. This landmark is a reflection of self-promotion, the romance of idealism, the allure of fame and fortune but, above all, a cultural presence in the midst of a larger LA landscape.

The Hollywood sign, erected in 1923, turned 100 last year (2023).