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Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can Prints

The Tin Man

Andy Warhol Posters - Marilyn Monroe 1964
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Perhaps the most memorable art work done by the great Andy Warhol is his depiction of the Campbell Soup Cans. They were unveiled in July of 1962 at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. There exist 32 Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can prints in total, and they were sold as a set for approximately $1000. They were displayed exactly the way they are shelved in grocery stores, side by side and equidistant. Many speculate that this was an attempt on Warhol’s part to break down barriers and unify modern American society. Every person in America could identify with Campbell’s soup. Moreover, was he not deeming the supermarket and the art gallery as equal establishments to view art? Warhol was dogmatic in the way that he refused to draw a line between traditional art and regular commerce.

Soup & Sales
When the Andy Warhol Campbell soup can prints hit the streets, many were bewildered by the idea that they could be considered art. After all, it was just a can of soup! Executives at Campbell’s Soup Company were equally unimpressed. They ordered a cease-and-desist order on all Warhol soup prints due to the fact that they were uncertain about having an eccentric character such as Warhol using their brand image. However, once they began to reap the benefits of free advertising and publicity, the Campbell Soup Company leaped on board and later asked Warhol to produce a silkscreen of their dry soup mix as well.

Pop Goes the World
When an image is re-created over and over again in succession, it is not the actual image that is most poignant, it is the concept behind it. And that is what is so fascinating about Andy Warhol Campbell soup can prints. Warhol seemed to have a third-eye when it came to recognizing icons. He took celebrity faces and popular household items and burned their image into the public’s mind. It can be argued that Marilyn Monroe’s popularity is still alive today because of Andy Warhol’s contribution to her fame.

Whose Soup-er Idea?
Many have speculated on how Warhol came up with the idea to use Campbell soup cans in his art. The most popular theory is that he just liked the soup and had it for lunch everyday for over twenty years. Some claim that he was told to paint what he liked, and that is how the Andy Warhol Campbell soup can prints came about, along with his famous pieces depicting money. Andy Warhol’s mother used to sell flowers made out of tin cans to support Andy when he was a struggling artist, and many of her creations were made from Campbell’s soup cans. Warhol pieces are truly unique in their simplicity and egalitarian undercurrents. They caused a stir in the modern art world and had people everywhere crooning, “M’m! M’m! Good!”



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