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Story behind Warhol’s Soup Cans

Story behind Warhol’s Soup Cans

A remarkable piece where he was known for and was claimed to be Warhol’s favorite piece, The Campbell’s Soup Cans, became his signature image in his career. It was created during the rise of a significant artistic movement: Pop Art and was marked as “The New Realists” in the Sidney Janis Gallery exhibit. 

Back in 1962, Warhol started working on his new renditions of comic strips and ads, inspired by Lichtenstein’s work. In the process of doing this, A friend suggested the item “Campbell’s Soup” since it was a popular item that everyone knows of. Warhol bought cans from a store and began to trace onto its canvas. In this particular project, Warhol tried mechanical production precision, thus creating several test prints hanging around his studio. Then, Warhol unexpectedly received a return studio visit from Irving Blum of Ferus Gallery. The latter saw the series of Campbell’s soup in his studio and was surprised by his new art, immediately allowing Warhol to show those remarkable pieces in their gallery. 

As it was shown, it gained more and more attention from the youthful art and film community. Though there was a group of people who treated it with indifference. But Warhol didn’t stop there; he saw his work’s potential and created more variations of it, seeing the visual effect of serial imagery. Stencilling multiple cans within a single canvas made him realize that an image’s serial repetition drained its meaning. 

“an interesting phenomenon most poignantly presented in his Disasters, in which the constant exposure to their graphic displays of violence numbs the senses.

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“The most significant outcome of this series was the artist’s push towards printing to achieve the mechanical appearance that he sought in his paintings.”

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