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The True Cost of Plastic and more art by Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang

The True Cost of Plastic, 2013
46 x 46 inch (h x w)
Archival pigment print of photographs of beach plastic toy soldiers

Through the years, from Kehoe Beach, in the Point Reyes National Seashore, in Northern California, we have amassed quite a collection of plastic toy soldiers plus Cowboys & Indians, space-men, and pirates that chronicle the history of world conflicts. To date, we have well over 200 from Japan, Korea, China, and from gutters around the San Francisco Bay Area that have washed up onto the beach. The miniature helmets and weapons make it clear that war is our subtext and whether it is the internal disagreements of life’s decision-making or real war, these little figures are a way for the psyche to play; to imagine the impact of combat.

Now home from the war, wracked by a long life at sea, some of the faces are gnarled, chewed on, abraded by the sand. When we looked into their tiny faces we were amazed by their expressions. Each soldier is a poignant reminder of the ravages of war and the extremes to which nations will go to preserve dominion over the petrochemical world. Is plastic still cheap when the cost of war is added to the calculation?

We are dedicated to expressing the narrative of life and have found the creation of images of the human visage the most compelling way to tell stories about that journey.



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