Sometimes we have to laugh through the pain. Right now, many people are seeking to find relief during these trying times, including North Carolina residents. There's actually a new art piece, and one of the coolest murals in Charlotte, that's not only a testament to the times but also a comedic breath of fresh air.
27-year-old artist Darion Fleming is a D.C. native that has called Charlotte home for the past seven years. He used his artistry and perspective to create a piece that pretty much sums up our current reality.
Fleming was inspired by his own experience of going the grocery store and being faced with the lack of hand sanitizer.
"I came up with the idea based on that," he remembered, "designed it that night and started painting it the next day."
As toilet paper and hand sanitizer have been cleared out from local grocery stores for weeks, it's a true telling of the community's reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fleming shares his own experience as a self-employed artist. "I’ve had several jobs delayed or canceled indefinitely, which is tough," he explains. "My situation could still be far far worse than it is; there are people who are suffering to a life-threatening point and it’s incredibly sad and scary to see."
He created the mural named "Pure'll Gold" to give locals a light-hearted laugh at our joined experience. The 400-square-foot mural took Fleming around 80 to 90 hours to create over a full week from Friday, March 13.
Pure'll Gold is located in the North Davidson neighborhood in Charlotte, on the side of Machine Shop (across the street from the coffee shop, The Hobbyist).
Designing the hand sanitizer to appear gold was a thoughtful plot to "symbolize the exclusivity and value of the product these days, as it's so difficult to get a hold of," Fleming explains.
He points out the top of the bottle's label, which reads "Available Nowhere," the current reality for many.
Fleming says he's received many positive responses from the community for the piece.
"I just want any[one] who sees this to simply get some enjoyment out of it, crack a smile or have a quick laugh," he says. "In such a serious and scary time I think a little comedic relief can be really healthy, that was my goal with this piece."