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Campbells Soup Cans by Andy Warhol

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					Campbell's Soup Cans by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1928.
Warhol is best known for his exploration of Pop Art and for making
multiple images of mass produced objects. His most famous work of this
type is the Campbell's Soup cans.
The Campbell's Soup cans series was first exhibited in 1962 at Warhol's
first solo pop art exhibit. The showing took place in November of 1962 at
Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery. The collection consists of 32, 20 by 16
inch canvases. The canvases were displayed on a shelf and the intent was
to resemble an isle in a grocery store. Each canvas has a different
flavor of Campbell's soup. There are 32 canvases because, at the time,
Campbell Soup Company produced 32 different varieties of soup. The canvas
depicting tomato soup was the first of the series. This exhibition at the
Stable Gallery also included the famous Marilyn Monroe images.
There is no evidence that Warhol intended the canvases to be displayed in
a particular order. Today, the Museum of Modern Art, in New York,
displays the canvases in chronological order of which they were
completed.
When Warhol began painting the cans in 1962, the Campbell Soup Company
actually sent out lawyers to investigate. Campbell's executives could not
have been prepared for the tremendous impact the paintings would have on
their sales. Warhol would actually sign cans of soup and then sell them
as souvenirs.
In 1997, the Campbell Soup Company acknowledged the importance of the
paintings, not only for the company, but for the Pop Art movement, by
sponsoring the 'Art of Soup' Contest. The winning piece was a sheet of
stamps depicting the soup cans. Each stamp showed a different flavor of
Campbell's soup. The individual responsible for the stamps was given a
$10,000 check at a ceremony at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
Warhol often used everyday images in his work. He believed that art was
intended for all people, not just a select few. He used popular images in
order to appeal to the masses. The soup can series challenges the idea
that art must be creative and original. Warhol claimed that he was
inspired to use the soup cans in his work because, as a child, he would
eat Campbell's soup every day. He wanted to paint something that he
thought was beautiful yet something that people see every day and never
really think about it. Many people believe that the Campbell's Soup can
series is responsible for shaping the Pop Art movement. His work has
inspired a generation of artists to find beauty in everyday items and to
see art in even the seemingly mundane.
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