D.C. invasion

first_imgAlthough McGinty calls himself “not really political,” he opposes the oil profiteering he believes takes place in Iraq. “The people that are behind this are gaining control and prospering, climbing the ladder and kicking down everyone else,” said McGinty, who said he is a registered Democrat. “The general consensus of the world understands this is for greed.” As the troops continue to reach their destination – the White House mailroom – McGinty says he thinks they will accumulate to the point where government officials will take notice. Several calls to the media relations department at the White House seeking comment last week were not returned. The toy soldiers mark McGinty’s first foray into political art, though art has long been at the center of his life. He says he first fell into designing environmental installations before opening the salon-style Gallery at the End of the World five years ago. Every two months, local artists exhibit their work during four-day- long openings that McGinty says more than 1,000 people attend. As for the next step for March of the Toy Soldiers, McGinty says he is just waiting to “see where it goes.” He says he is hopeful that as more soldiers are mailed in, his message will reach Bush, as well as into the future. “Maybe there will be a pile of these sitting there in his museum,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “These are the only soldiers that should be in bags,” said McGinty, 43, of the individually wrapped toys, adding that under his scheme the president can now “play with soldiers he can’t kill.” Since assembling the toys in a soldier-shaped, mesh-wire statue two weeks ago outside Gallery at the End of the World – the Lake Avenue art gallery he has run since 2002 – McGinty said an estimated 200 figures have been picked up. The mass-mailing project he calls March of the Toy Soldiers aims to channel anti-war sentiment into a tangible, and perhaps more effective, form of protest, he said. “You see the same people standing on the corner every day,” he said of demonstrators. “It doesn’t satisfy my frustrations.” Inspiration struck in February when McGinty was sitting at his kitchen table, turning over vintage toy soldiers a friend had bought. He said at first he wanted to send them to his nephew, but then realized he “needed to send them to George W. Bush” instead. McGintysaid he plunked down $400 for 500 soldiers soon thereafter. He shot a video of himself explaining the project, which was uploaded to YouTube. The clip and a MySpace page where it appears (http://myspace.com/marchofthetoysoldiers) make the Internet his main means of publicity. • Toy soldiers to President Bush ALTADENA – Troops being sent to the White House can’t salute, fire their guns or get injured. In fact, they can’t even move on their own. That’s because they are 7 inches tall and plastic. As a means of protesting the war in Iraq, local artist and gallery owner Ben McGinty is distributing hundreds of toy soldiers to be mailed to President Bush. last_img

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