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Andy Warhol and Campbell's soup: was not your idea? – Italian Cuisine


Thanks to the 32 canvases Campbell's Soap, Andy Warhol reaches popularity and becomes the main reference of Pop Art. But we are sure that the original idea came to him?

Such as Mary Quant and the miniskirt o Leonardo da Vinci and the Monnalisa, Andy Warhol and Campbell soup they are inextricably linked. The rapid association is immediate, the image of the repeating tin cans that is still striking today at the MOMA in New York. Thanks to this work of 1962, Warhol becomes the prince of the Pop art. What if it was not his original idea?

Closeup of Campbell's Tomato Soup. (Photo Credit James Keyser / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty Images).

The 32 Campbell soups

From a modest commercial illustrator to successful author, publisher, painter and director: Warhol he owes everything to the work Campbell's Soup Cans, reveals Mark Rozzo. 32 canvases in synthetic polymer on canvas, each large 51x41cm, depicting all the varieties of Campbell soup jars then on sale. Each in individual frames and arranged in a single row just like the products on the shelves of supermarkets: shock for the public and for the critics, who does not know how to react, still behind the American abstract expressionism in vogue since the post-war period.

On the other hand, that banal commercial subject realized through a semi-mechanized process of Warhol remains for a long time at the center of debate, thus contributing to the notoriety of the artist and to push his innovative message. The positive vision of the ordinary culture, the distance from the great art as we had known so far and the finally individual expression make of them Campbell soups by Andy Warhol the great provocation to the art world. Warhol the way of appreciating art changes definitively, the representation becomes more important than what is represented to you, the result is a real revolution.

Andy Warhol "Campbell Soup Cans" exhibited in 2002 at the Museum of Modern Art Queens, Long Island City, Queens, NY. (Photo credit Matt Campbell / AFP / Getty Images).

Campbell soups: whose idea is it?

In 1961, Warhol believes he can achieve success with cartoon-inspired paintings, but the attention is kidnapped by Roy Lichtenstein and its Look Mickey, leaving him disillusioned, but above all running out of ideas. Here the friend interior designer and art expert comes into play Muriel Roberta Latow, who sells for $ 50 both the goddess of painting bills and Campbell's jars; It seems there is a check signed by the artist on November 23, 1961. This is the most accredited version as described by the friend Ted Carey present at the event, collected in the biography Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol of David Dalton and Tony Scherman.

Other genesis comes from the declaration of Robert Indiana, the pop artist known for the opera LOVE: "I knew Andy very well. The reason why he paints soup cans is that he liked the soup, "or from Marcel Duchamp, one of the landmarks of Dadaist art and Cubism: "If you take a can of Campbell's Soup and repeat it fifty times, you do not care about the retinal image. What interests you is the concept of putting fifty cans of Campbell soup on a canvas". Another newer version arrives from Warhol same, which in a 1985 interview for The Face he cites the tin flowers that his mother created as one of his inspirations. Or more simply, the Pittsburgh artist likes to eat Campbell soup – as well as hamburgers!

Ultimately, the idea stems from the need to Andy Warhol to create something innovative. Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Oldenburg they had already started working on real subjects extracted from the commercial culture, Latow's vision comes at the right time as well as the support of the art dealer Irving Blum Los Angeles, which convinces Warhol to exhibit on the West Coast away from his New York with the bait of Hollywood stars, the artist's great passion. The debut takes place at Ferus Gallery July 9, 1962 – paradoxically is the same date in which the chain Walmart opens its first supermarket and the United States leads the first nuclear test on the Pacific Ocean … boom. A new chapter opens for the history of American art, the Pop (ular) was officially born, Warhol becomes Warhol.

Andy Warhol in front of his "Marilyn Monro" at the Tate Gallery, Millbank, London (Photo Credit PA Images via Getty Images)

Warhol today, where

There are few artists who can claim such universal recognition Andy Warhol with the provocation of the jars Campbell has fully hit the target. Through his eccentric personality and his willingness to experiment with unconventional artistic techniques, Warhol he helped expand the artist's role in society and understood the growing power of images in contemporary life by anticipating the success of social media. Tremendously up-to-date, the curiosity and admiration around the works and the private life itself of this bizarre and brilliant artist do not even appease today, in fact.

It was since 1989 that the United States did not dedicate a retrospective to Warhol and today it is finally possible to find out more about this eclectic and fragile character at the same time going to visit "Andy Warhol – From A to B and back again"At the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York until March 31, 2019. Without having to take a plane, currently at the Orangery of the Royal Palace of Monza has been set up until April 28th an exceptional exhibition curated by Maurizio Vanni entitled"Andy Warhol. The alchemist of the sixties"With 140 original works.

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