But after the sunbathers drew media attention, friends showered Greenwood with praise. Even his parents in New York heard about it when family friends called and asked: Is this your Calder Greenwood?
And when Wild Life walked into a Santa Monica cafe popular among the art crowd, the owner laughed and said: "Well, Mr. Ano-ny-mous. What an honor."
Before they carted out the sunbathers, the duo had their eyes on other holes and "loosely abandoned" parcels around town. Cardboard is cheap and flexible to work with, Greenwood said, and with practice, each project has gotten more creative and durable.
Even without the buzz, Greenwood said, it's worth it. "Building it is fun," he said. "Installing it is a rush."
For their most recent installation, Greenwood and Wild Life donned dark clothes and hit the streets after midnight to relocate the deer. They awkwardly cradled the life-size herbivores under their arms, sidestepping bar-lined Main Street in favor of skid row.
At the spot, they fell silent, glancing over their shoulders as they raced into the brush. In less than 10 minutes, Greenwood and Wild Life hammered the deer into their latest home: a trash-speckled slope of grass overshadowed by the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
From the pair's vantage point, Wild Life could see a scaffold that's been hanging off a building for years. He's already envisioning what's next.