These monumental sculptures are immediately identifiable by their distinctive colours and shapes as Tide, Downy and Penzoil bottles used as containers for common household products. Drawing inspiration from these mass-produced utilitarian objects, Coupland enlarged their scale and removed their labelling, calling attention to the sleek forms and inherent beauty of such everyday objects and their ecologically ambiguous contents.
"Downy, Tide and Penzoil are from a moment back in 2000/2001 when I was really interested in the conflict between these beautiful plastic objects called bottles and the crazy toxic weird stuff inside them. There had been an event in my own family which involved chemical poisoning and I think that's what sensitized me to it. On the other hand they are just so big and beautiful and sexy. That's the contradiction of modern pop culture. It's like, wow, everything is always young and fresh and new! But listen to me, I'm 52 and I grew up with and in pop culture and now I'm aging within pop culture and I'll die within pop culture. I'm getting old and I'm changing, and the world just looks as fresh and new as ever. It's weird. It's unprecedented in history. People have never lasted this far this long. When I look at these bottles I think about mortality. These bottles are going to be around a lot longer than I am. And I can either get depressed or I can get happy, so I try to get happy instead." —Douglas Coupland, speaking in the audio guide app that accompanied the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition Douglas Coupland" everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.
At the core of Coupland's practice lies a fascination with popular culture. Not only does Coupland utilize the strategies of Pop Art by incorporating objects and images taken directly from everyday life, but he often passes these through the lens of new media. The result is a provocative synthesis of the common with the extraordinary, set in the here and now.