Local Artist Responds to Crisis with Humor
For this entry of #CoronaHope, we are highlighting Charlotte-based artist Darion Fleming and his unique response to COVID-19: “Pure’ll Gold.” The newest addition to the murals of Charlotte – giving us all a comedic relief and a reminder of the healing aspects of the arts.
Darion Fleming began painting large scale murals in 2018 and has since created dozens of pieces in the Charlotte area, Asheville, Raleigh, and Washington D.C. His work also includes projects with clients such as Bank of America, NASCAR, and Arsenal FC among others. No stranger to having his work featured by local news outlets, Darion defines his artistic expression as not having a set style: “Everything I create has variance and I enjoy the idea of always being in such an experimental stage, with no limitation of style holding me back from developing artwork that I’ve never explored before.”
The idea of the mural came to him on Thursday, March 12, after experiencing the lack of supply that Purell has in stores. Darion designed the piece that night and, having a good relationship with the building owner, was able to start painting the next day. Darion is grateful for the positive response he has received from the community. He is glad that people are able to enjoy his lighthearted and funny take on the situation.
Commenting on his thought behind the mural, Darion shares:
The gold in the bottle symbolizes the exclusivity and value of the product these days, as it’s so difficult to get a hold of. That’s also why I hid the text “Available Nowhere” at the top of the bottle’s label. As for my goal with this piece, I just want anyone who sees it to simply get some enjoyment out of it, crack a smile or have a quick laugh. In such a serious and scary time, I think a little comedic relief can be really healthy and that was my goal with this piece.
“Pure’ll Gold” is Darion first artwork that has a specific cultural relevance, and he plans to do more in the future.
Darion hopes that Pure’ll Gold continues to bring us laughs as we wait for things to get better. “Art is an incredibly important part of society, especially public art, I think it always will be. In the future, I hope that it can remain on that wall as a reminder of the battle we all went through with this and the fact that we overcame it,” says Darion.
***coronaHOPE is a new digital series from Levine Museum of the New South that is highlighting stories of hope and resiliency within our community during these unprecedented times. While we all are doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19, many community members are also caring for one another in small and big ways. Please share your stories of people bringing HOPE to their communities with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org