boy collecting garbage, indonesia


this past winter i looked at hundreds of pictures of garbage and landfill and detritus. images that really break your heart. the one above is from a river in indonesia. kids pick out pieces of plastic that they can re-use or make into something else to sell...this guy looks like he is finding long straw-like plastic that can be woven into placemats or bowls.
if you have a conscience, an image like this obviously stimulates social commentary, makes you reflect upon our behavior, how we are so blatantly negligent of this planet earth.  on the internet there are hundreds of websites and blogs devoted to revealing the awful truth of human waste production. this one is both entertaining and insightful:

i've never been up close to an out of control big city landfill. when i was in nyc with my dad he pointed out the formerly largest landfill in the world (new york city's "fresh kills" landfill)  located on staten island, which is now closed and is being made into a public park.  the size of it was unreal. i've been to several small municipal dumps which are disgusting and, strangely, visually engaging. when i see enormous piles of garbage everything appears kind of homogenized...there is no hierarchy of importance, everything looks the same: lifeless, useless. even the colors become uniform, they don't seem to emanate light,  it's as though even the light waves are deadened when they hit the garbage.

landfill. oil on panel. 40" x 30"
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