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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Charlotte Mural Artist Reflects Life In Coronavirus Times

Purell mural
Jodie Valade
This mural off North Davidson Street in NoDa shows the dire circumstances of shopping during coronavirus quarantine.

Charlotte mural artist Darion Fleming was out gathering supplies a couple weeks ago for what he assumed might be a long stay-at-home period when he noticed one thing missing in every store he visited.

“There was absolutely no Purell pretty much anywhere,” he said.

He thought about it overnight, did a few sketches and realized he had to paint a mural.

What he came up with took about eight days and 80 hours of work on the side of the Machine Shop building off North Davidson Street. It’s a huge bottle of Purell being poured out in a golden stream. The bottle reads, “Available nowhere.” It debuted last weekend.

“The main idea behind the mural was using the gold to emphasize its exclusivity right now," Fleming said. "It’s almost harder to find than gold, really -- and more valuable, in a sense.”

Fleming has painted murals throughout Charlotte – a chopped-up fish on the side of Sushi Guru in Plaza Midwood and a snake on Pizza Peel in the same neighborhood – but this is one he wanted to do on his own dime. He was simply moved to create and share his visual commentary with the world.

Since the mural debuted last week, Fleming has been overwhelmed with the reaction he’s received on social media.

“I’ve been blown away," he said. "I never in a million years expected that kind of response.”

But there’s still one obvious question: When is Fleming going to paint a toilet paper mural?

“One virus-related mural is enough for me,” he said, laughing.

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