Don’t Touch, oil on panel, 16×20.
I grew up in a household with a parent who has Obssesive Compulsive Disorder. This changed many things about the way I had a relationship with this parent, my friends and my living space. I grew to understand and work within these limitations and as an adult I understand the struggle people with OCD face on a daily basis.
What I can not stand for is the commercialization and normalization of this disorder. We have shows like Monk that make this serious handicap seem fun and frivolous, as well as almost making it trendy. We have big companies that want to sell us germ killers in plastic bottles, and are doing such a good job at it that often in restaurants I see bottles everywhere from next to the door in the bathroom to random shelves throughout. I see people who do not use their hands to open doors, instead using their elbows or feet. Our hands (with opposable thumbs), the thing that many believe separated us from common animals, we are now afraid to use. I see people afraid to touch other people because of some unnamed disease used to sell hand sanitizer.
There is cleanliness and proper ways to avoid germs. And there are mass-marketed fears. I hope at some point people look and question what they are really afraid of.