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Campbell's Soup, 1965
Acrylic on canvas
36 × 24 in. (91.44 × 60.96 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.156
Photo credit: Efraim Lev-er
© 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol began his career as a commercial artist and once observed that "America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke too." Fascinated by popular culture in all its forms, Warhol depicted celebrities as well as common consumer products. Campbell's Soup is one of the artist's many renditions of this American staple. Initially copying the soup cans faithfully, he soon substituted different color combinations for the traditional red-and-white label. Through this electric-hued canvas from 1965, Warhol, intentionally or not, alludes to the variety of soups available through the one, unmistakable label. Warhol did not idealize the things he depicted; rather, he used the same images repeatedly to signify the banality of a technological world dominated by machine-made products. He provocatively stated: "I want to be a machine," thereby challenging the Western notion of the artistic genius as one who has original ideas.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.