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The Crying Indian

Assemblage of Post-Consumer Materials

48″ x 48″

The famous 1971 Keep America Beautiful Ad Campaign featured Iron Eyes Cody as the “Crying Indian” who paddled his canoe up a trash filled river into a polluted industrial city, landing on a litter-strewn bank. He walks up to the highway where trash is literally thrown from a passing car onto his feet. His wordless response is a single tear as the commercial ends with the narrator saying “People start pollution; people can stop it.”

The Crying Indian was the face of litter prevention throughout my childhood. In this piece, his face is made from materials that are disposed of daily, objects destined for the landfill. They have been reused and repurposed to remind us “what people start, people can stop”.