Campbell's Soup Cans
Average: 5 (1 vote)
thoutzager's picture

Founder & President

There are thirty small paintings of 32 cans of soup, one for every flavor that the Cambell's Soup Company produced in 1962.

When Warhol showed this set of paintings at a one man show in LA, only six of the thirty two paintings sold, at a mere $100 each. His dealer bought back those six in order to keep the set complete, and paid Warhol $1,000 for the lot. Warhol's next show was cancelled. Only two years later, Warhol set up the studio that would become know as "The Factory" and would make him uber famous, driving up those prices astronomically.

This painting was very unpopular with some people because they felt it was too realistic. Abstract expressionsim was all the rage, which is ironic because when the abstract expressionists first appeared, they offended people who preferred more realistic art.

No one is 100% sure why Warhol painted Cambell's soup cans, but some theories include:

1) His mother used to make flowers out of tin cans, including Cambell's soup cans.

2) He was painting cartoons, but then Roy Liechtenstein made way cooler paintings of cartoons, so Warhol needed a new subject. His assistant suggested he should paint ordinary things like soup cans.

3) He ate soup and drank Coca Cola for lunch every day.

Warhol had no commercial relationship the Cambell's Soup company.  Talk about great free advertising for Cambell and great art launchpad for Warhol!