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Poster, Oil and Water Do Not Mix

This is a Poster. It was designed by Anthony Burrill and published by Happiness Brussels and printed by Purple Monkey Design and team member: Cecilia Azcarate Isturiz and Tom Galle. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2012. Its medium is screenprint with oil culled from the gulf of mexico, sand, and extender base on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also known as the BP oil spill) in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, designer and graphic artist Anthony Burrill was approached by Tom Galle and Cecilia Azcarate Isturiz, the creative team at the innovative communications agency, Happiness Brussels. Galle and Isturiz asked Burrill to design a poster that would be printed with oil from the spill. Burrill was drawn to the opportunity to produce something positive from such a disaster. A few days later, Burrill submitted his design.
Isturiz and Galle flew to Louisiana to capture oil from the spill that had leeched into the sandy beaches of the coastline. Upon their arrival, they found the entire beach cordoned off but, when BP security personnel left for lunch, the team sneaked past the barriers and filled their buckets with the crude saturated sand. The oil was brought to Purple Monkey Design, a commercial print shop based in New Orleans, where the oil and sand were mixed with extender base and a limited edition of 200 screenprints were produced.
Burrill’s poster design features a simple and straightforward slogan: OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX. The text is capitalized and in block lettering. Isturiz, Galle, and Burrill launched a website through which the posters were sold, with all proceeds benefiting the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). The posters sold out within days, and the creative team received a blitz of media attention. A short film about the process was produced by Happiness Brussels.
Approximately 20 additional copies of the poster were printed as proofs, of which this one is being offered to the museum as a gift by the designer. An impression of this poster was included in the exhibition Graphic Design: Now in Production.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Basic Chemistry.

This object was donated by Anthony Burrill. It is credited Gift of Anthony Burrill.

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Its dimensions are

76.2 x 50.8 cm (30 x 20 in.)

It is signed

In graphite, lower right: Anthony Burrill

Cite this object as

Poster, Oil and Water Do Not Mix; Designed by Anthony Burrill (British, b. 1966); USA; screenprint with oil culled from the gulf of mexico, sand, and extender base on white wove paper; 76.2 x 50.8 cm (30 x 20 in.); Gift of Anthony Burrill; 2012-13-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, Oil and Water Do Not Mix |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 July 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>