Purell (Purple) - 1
Purell (Purple)
Soft pastel and gouache on panel
10 x 8 in.
Date Created

In my latest series, I explore the Purell hand sanitizer bottle’s embodiment of purification amidst a period of global tragedy. Purell, with its defining "99.99%" germ-killing claim, gained an unmatched omnipresence during our recent pandemic, becoming a given and necessary fixture of our everyday settings. Its presence has since lingered, persistent and ghostlike, to this day. Through the use of soft pastels, I aimed to depict Purell abstractly, experimenting with color and unconventional approaches in an effort to capture the essence of its strange yet undeniably intimate role in our lives born from the past two and a half years. There are multiple forces at play within this single series. The Purell bottles served as a canvas for my own questions regarding the intricate dynamics of consumerism, branding, and capitalism, particularly in the context of the pandemic. During times of crisis, who are the winners, and who are the losers? Moreover, each Purell pastel reflects on feelings of time-independent isolation, post-pandemic communal healing, and the seemingly strange yet endless focus on mass disinfection across our world. Drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans, Paula Rego’s soft pastels mounted on aluminum, and Wayne Thiebaud’s attention to the still life, I paid homage to defining influences while shaping my own exploration of color, light, and form. This series has allowed me to reflect on the deep, multi-faceted symbolism and importance of Purell amidst our pandemic world, weaving in often overlooked matters of process and self-reflection, the delicate balance between cleanliness and sterilization, inevitable intertanglings of consumerism, and a cultural commentary on contemporary society.

Courtesy of the artist and Night Gallery.


For more information contact: info@Interreality.art.

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Purell (Peach)

Interreality: an expansive art exhibition bridging the traditional and digital art worlds through the presentation of works by 35 artists that span the physical-to-digital spectrum.

For more information contact: info@Interreality.art.

Oct 14, 2023
5500 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, USA

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Mieke Marple
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