Why is this art? Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans | Art History | Khan Academy

(piano playing) Steven: We’re looking at one of the single canvases from a series of canvases of the Campbell Soup Cans by Andy Warhol from 1962 at the Museum of Modern Art. And one of the really important questions that comes up about, especially modern art, is well, why is this art? Sal: When you ask me that a bunch of things kind of surface in my brain. It does evoke something in me so I’m inclined to say yes, but then there’s a bunch of other things that say well, if I didn’t see this in a museum and if I just saw this in the marketing department of Campbell’s Soup, would you be viewing it differently? Steven: Because it’s advertising then.
Sal: Yes. Steven: But in the context of the museum or in the context of Andy Warhol’s studio, it’s not quite advertising, right? Sal: Even if it’s the exact same thing.
Steven: Yeah. Sal: And the idea here is by putting it in the museum it’s saying look at this in a different way. Steven: Well that’s right, it really does relocate it, it does change the meaning, it does transform it, and that’s really one of the central ideas of modern art is that you can take something that’s not necessarily based in technical skill, because I don’t think you would say that this is beautifully rendered.
Sal: Right. Steven: But it relocates it and makes us think about it in a different way. Sal: And so, I guess he would get credit for taking something that was very, almost mundane, something you see in everyone’s cupboard, and making it a focal point like you should pay attention to this thing. Steven: I think that’s exactly right and I think that he’s doing it about a subject that was about as low a subject as one could go. I mean cheap advertising art was something that was so far away from fine art from the great masters and then to focus on something as lowly as a can of soup, and cream of chicken no less, right? (laughs) Sal: A lot of it is, if he did it 50 years earlier, people would have thought this guy’s a quack and if he did it now they’d think he was just derivative and… It was really just that time where people happened to think this was art. Steven: I think that that’s right. In 1962, what Warhol is doing is he’s saying what is it about our culture that is really authentic and important? And it was about mass production, it was about factories. He in a sense said let’s not be looking at nature as if we were still an agrarian culture, we’re now an industrial culture. What is the stuff of our visual world now? Sal: I think I’m 80 percent there. I remember in college there was a student run art exhibit and as a prank a student actually put a little podium there and put his lunch tray. He put a little placard next to it, you know, lunch tray on Saturday or something is what he called it. So he did it as a prank and everyone thought it was really funny but to some degree it’s kind of a sign that maybe what he did was art. Steven: Well I think that’s why it was funny because it was so close, right? Sal: And to some degree when someone took a lunch tray and gave it the proper lighting and gave it a podium to look at it and wrote a whole description about it, I did view the lunch tray in a different way. That’s kind of the same idea, that something that’s such a mundane thing but you use it everyday. I mean, what would you say to that? Was that a prank or was that art? Steven: I think it is a prank but it’s also very close to some important art that had been made earlier in the century. He had license to do that because of somebody named Marcel Duchamp. In fact, Warhol had in a sense the same kind of license to not focus on the making of something, not focus on the brushwork, not focus on the composition, not focus on the color, but focus on the refocusing of ideas. Sal: And the reason why we talk about Warhol or Duchamp or any of these people is that, as you said, it’s not that they did something technically profound. Obviously Campbell Soup’s marketing department had already done something as equally as profound, it’s more that they were the people who looked at the world in a slightly different way and highlighted that. Steven: Well I think that that’s right. Warhol is also very consciously working towards asking the same questions that the prankster at your school was asking. He’s saying can this be art? And in fact he’s really pushing it. Look at the painting closely for a moment. This is one of the last paintings that he’s actually painted. He’s really defined the calligraphy of this Campbell’s, he’s really sort of rendered the reflection of the tin at the top. But then he stopped and he said, I don’t want to paint the fleur de lis. You see those little fleur de lis down at the bottom. I don’t want to paint those. So he actually had a little rubber stamp made of them and actually sort of placed them down mechanically. What does that mean for an artist then, to say I don’t even want to bother to paint these? I’m just going to find a mechanical process to make this easier. Warhol is doing something I think which is important which is reflecting the way that we manufacture, the way that we construct our world. Think about the things that we surround ourselves with, almost everything was made in a factory. Almost nothing is singular in the world anymore. It’s not a world that we would normally find beautiful. Sal: I don’t know, sometimes I feel and correct me if I’m wrong, that a decision was made that Warhol was interesting or great and then people will interpret his stuff to justify his greatness. That oh look, he used a printer instead of drawing it which shows that he was reflecting the industrial or whatever, but if he had done it the other way, if he had hand drawn it or hand drawn it with his elbow you know, or finger painted it or something people would say oh isn’t this tremendous because we normally would see this thing printed by a machine and now he did it with his hands. How much do you think that is the case or am I just being cynical? Steven: Well no, I think that there’s value in a certain degree of cynicism and I think that in some ways what we’re really talking about here is what does it mean to be an avant-garde artist? What does it mean to sort of change the language of art and to try to find ways that art relates to our historical moment in some really direct and authentic way? Sal: And maybe it’s easy for me to say this because I remember looking at this when I took 5th grade art class, Andy Warhol and all of that, so now it seems almost not that unique but in ’62 what I’m hearing is that Warhol was really noteworthy because he really did push people’s thinking. Steven: I think that Warhol was looking for, in 1962, a kind of subject matter that was completely outside of the scope of that we could consider fine art. One of his contemporaries, Roy Lichtenstein, was asked what pop art was and he said, “Well we were looking for subject matter that was so despicable, “that was so low, that nobody could possibly believe that it was really art.” And I think you’re right, I think now we look at it and it’s so much a part of our visual culture that we immediately accept it. But I think that it’s really interesting to retrieve just how shocking and radical that was. Sal: This is fascinating. It seems like there’s a lot of potential there, that stuff that’s pseudo-art made for other purposes, for commercial purposes but if you kind of shine a light on it, in the way that a light has been shone on this, that it does… In your mind would that cross the barrier into being art? Steven: Well I think that, you mentioned before, that if somebody was doing this now it would feel really derivative. And I think that that’s right. I think it underscores just how hard it is to find in our culture now, ways of making us see the world in new ways. Sal: Fascinating. (piano playing)

Comments 100

  • If you have to explain art, doesn't that not make it art since it's supposed to be provoking on its own

  • Art is always literally something else. A painting is a dried oil or water based paste smeared on a wooden board or stretched out cotton cloth on a frame. "This is not a pipe" has just as much truth as "This is piss in a bottle". The question is, are those statements true or false?

  • In your opinion of his opinion.

  • sometimes a cat, a leaf, a computer mouse, a blade of grass which probably you will be the only one to look at makes you see the world in a completely different way … sorry, "making a see the world in a different way" does not justify the hype abou Warhol. Also, we have to make a distinction betwean hard and imposible. To become famous, to be heard as an artist these days is imposible to do intentioaly – its completely random. It is not hard … its pure luck.

  • Techncially his response was factual.

  • A pretentious art douchebag

  • Art is like music. You can't judge one based on your own opinions. If everyone thinks that a painting of a can in a museum then it's fcking art. If they want to stack trash cans and call it art, as long as the popular opinion is that it's art, it's art. You're fcking stupid to call this man, who is simply reporting his assumptions on why people thought this to be art, pretentious

  • I somehow doubt that's what Andy Warhol intended for the message of this to be. Maybe he just wanted to paint soup and see how people who don't understand the concept of art (all about interpretation, not everything needs to have a concise meaning) think they know what it meant and try to explain it to others. A social experiment, if you will.

  • I like your point of view, though I believe there could be many interpretations of those images, and also we cannot tell what Warhol was thinking . We can only think by ourselfes.

  • in critquing modern mediusm of art: movies, tv shows, video games, I have a list of areas where the product has to do something. One of the areas is imagination or taking something to a new level. Piss in a bottle, jesus in piss, naked homosexuals, and soup cans get a zero. Capturing the first breath of a new born, and his expression in a painting, a photo, or a sculpture would get high marks from me. But soup cans and piss… zero. It doesn't move humanity forward nor humanize you. "art" does

  • (cont'd) most of the modern art serves no purpose other than to say "I laugh in the face of all classical techniques and show you that I can make art out of anything, look at me."

    Art should have a purpose.

  • This is over-analysed bullshit. Sal, don't pollute your site with this!

  • Andy Warhol's work was satirizing popular art. You have artists who are literally selling their artwork; marketing it to galleries and rich snobs who will buy it for lots of money. He was mocking that. Art isn't about marketing your work and making money, its about creation and the ideas that spring forth from them. This idea seemed to be lost by many people.

    This video is bad, it tries too hard. Yes there are multiple interpretations, but that doesnt mean some dont make more sense than others.

  • my art teacher says otherwise xP

  • That's why she's a teacher, & not a full time artist =P

  • The thing with anime is that a lot of true artists hate it because you get so many teenagers that think they're artists because they can draw anime characters, when technically it's an incredibly easy style. Personally I prefer to see anime as a medium of expression and story-telling for those with less artistic ability, time or resources, which is an art just like hip-hop is a genre of music.

  • Sal, you ask all the right questions man. Love it.

  • The emperor has no clothes. WAY OVERRATED!

  • what a fucking gay voice jesus christ

  • This is not art, none of the definitions match.

  • Modern art = more about ideas and conveying concepts as opposed to showing off great technique

    …got it.

    Now I know math AND artsy!

  • You're right, I apologise. I don't hate all art, I think I was just being provocative.

  • Why is it called art? Because people are stupid.

  • When I fart, is it art?

  • This is such a fantastic and enlightening discussion on the motives and intentions of Warhol. You've really helped me gain a more concise understanding and foundation to build upon when further viewing his works, thank you!

  • i love you for being honest. yay!

  • or… Maybe Warhol was so arrogant and jaded that he decided he could paint any old piece of crap and people would fall all over themselves trying to convince themselves its art.

  • Well, obviously Warhol wasn't completely wrong, because it worked. Sal makes a point in the video that a decade earlier or later, and Andy Warhol's "shtick" might not have worked. He found a niche and filled it. As to its artistic merit, I pretty much agree with you and find 99% of modern art to be displeasing or pointless and without skill. But if someone enjoys it, then it has a place.

  • Andy said, "if you 'get' my art you don't get it and if you don't you do."

  • The soup cans is not art at all, it's pure sh..

  • that may have been the artistic statement itself. dun dun dun!! (psycho scream)

  • I'm so glad to hear that the guys in this video actually get it

  • some humans are plain dumb

  • "Art it whatever you can get away with" Andy Warhol

  • anime is art, pop art is crap.

  • bingo.

  • You can't spell fart without art.

  • I'm hungry.

  • The same reason why pie, mustaches, and nutella are so popular even though they're not that great.

  • As an artist I think these guys are over thinking it. Sometimes it's fun just to put together a bunch of sit and watch everybody gawk at it like it's a masterpiece and try to put so much meaning into it when it really means nothing at all.

  • Its art because it brought modern art back into the scene after abstract art. Abstract art was the rage….. then BAM !!! ANdy says welcome to POP

  • bet campbell's didn't complain. prob paid him too

  • Art is dead, and so is god. I say let's combine both and gear society to the next logical and practical step… transhumanism.

  • From my point of view, this is art in the sense that it makes me laugh.  It's like visual comedy and sarcasm.  What makes it most interesting is that one does not know what to think of it:  is it a serious work or is the author just trying to make fun of how seriously artists take themselves?

  • That was a fascinating discussion.  Khan would make a great host on a show that would be his version of Charlie Rose.

  • You need to be a bit crazy to be an artist. They think their so fancy and creative but rly not

  • If you think he was trying to make a critical statement by painting those cans, consider this: Andy Warhol got one of his filmmakers to film him eating a cheeseburger while taking pauses to smirk and dab his face with his napkin… for nearly five minutes.

  • people sitting around intellectualizing stills of soup cans.

  • wow…I'm amazed how how much fantasies going through the brain of art! Well..I guess that's why its call an art

  • Its not really beautiful, and it isnt particularly thought provoking, maybe it was back then. But now its worn off, where is beauty in our world today? non-existant.

  • The comments here reveal that the same issues that existed back in the 60s in the popular conception of art (Artistic elitism, extreme conservatism, etc) are still well and alive today. Art as it was understood (as sculpture and painting, namely) reached their breaking point by the time the Dadaists and the abstract expressionists were doing their thing; stuff like pop art, conceptual art, performance art, video art (all things that people don't like because they're "not art"–a silly, lazy and deeply ignorant statement, in my mind) was an attempt to find NEWNESS in different modalities outside the traditional one.

    People (or respected artists, at least) don't paint like the masters anymore because it's a dead and mined out process. Sure, you could make something shockingly dramatic like a Carvaggio and it would be impressive on a technical level but impossibly boring on every other level. People like Warhol made different art reflecting not only the current state of art as well as the industrial consumerist culture surrounding it–their intention was both progression and subversion, to make art into something new that wasn't just an endless recycling of the Hellenic style.

    James Joyce and TS Eliot and the other famed modernists and post-modernists did the same thing; elevation of the crude and the "non art" to levels of high art. In effect, they were sticking up a middle finger to the late 19th century Victorian snobs who said "ART MUST BE BEAUTIFUL BUT ALSO I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT." It's so strange to me that people will readily accept their methods of subversion but entirely reject people equally as brilliant like Warhol or Lichenstein because they have some strange pent up ideas about what visual art SHOULD be. That's exactly the problem that existed back then; you are exactly the people that every significant artist of the past 100 years is making fun of and trying to push past.   

  • If Warhol dont know about Basquiat, maybe Micheal never be famous, what you think?

  • still so hard.. How you guys understand Andy's Pop art? 

  • Why is this chuffing art

  • Why not!!!!!

  • The art barrier?????

  • andy warhol was one massive troll who tricked the whole world into talking about cans of soup for probably hundreds of years to come and to be taught at schools and lecture halls because he was an artist and art is profoundly indecisive and compulsive, it doesn't know what it wants, but it knows it wants it now

  • Lol some artists have gotten away with some pretty mundane /weird/or just down right stupid things in the name of art.

  • As an artist and a fan of Andy Warhol's work, the Campbell Soup Can Print represents the mass market culture of today's society. And why there's multiple prints of the soup can does represent the constant repetition of consumers buying the product and reminding customers to appreciate their designs and their logos. If you check out logos on products today versus from what it was 40-50 years ago, the styles are becoming more minimalistic so the consumer doesn't have to guess and the people's attention becomes more drawn in. So in conclusion to what I'm trying to say is that Andy wants the people to appreciate product designs and logos (Lucky Charms, Coca Cola, Fed Ex, Starbucks, McDonalds).

  • Anything can be considered art it just depends on the eye of the beholder however the real question is why is this considered a masterpiece? All anyone ever seems to do when trying to answer that is infer/guess about Andy's motive for creating the piece and use broad statements such as calling it "transformative". This is only considered a masterpiece to most people because they've heard others call it a masterpiece and that in my opinion is the major flaw with modern art.

  • Love this lesson on Andy Warhol! If you would like to learn more about the significance of his work check out some of the videos on our channel!


  • Reason can be given to anything.

  • One of the most overrated pieces of art of all time. Stop trying to fucking justify it.

  • this is pathetic

  • Sorry, Im from the group that thinks Warhol is shit,
    1 name for that Robert Hughes

  • This is hipster shit. Warhol art is bs. He banked on people like these people speaking.

  • everyone andy is a genius sorry you just can't see it

  • I like Khan Acdmy.. But this is the most exaggerated, pretentious discussion. Interpreting anything that Warhol did as greatness. This painting is 100% about the artist and not about the art at all. Changing how you look at something isn't art. This happens everyday. If that was the reasoning, then lets put any everyday photo or object in a gallery(& this happens). When nothing can't be art, then nothing can really be art. What is and isn't art is completely meaningless. Let's just stop using the word.

  • This is "art" because someone stupid had bunch of money (probably won lottery or got from his parents) was stupid enough to pay for this utter BS. That's the only WHY this is art. Period! Quit fooling us.

  • This isn't art.

  • Guys! Do you know why Warhol painted this? He just liked Campell's soup. Quite reading so much into it.

  • This video is not necessarily referring to Andy Warhol and his style but more so about the statement he was making in defiance of mass production which society and industries were evolving into in the late 1800s by early 1900s.

  • How can i look for more videos like this from kahn academy !???

  • It may not be art, but it is some damn good fine design

  • watch my cambell soup art vid – Price is the Views.

  • Art ?? ..
    More like a joke !..

  • Lmaoooo you guys are idiots. Stick to physics. This is feminist art. Figure it out.

  • It is obvious that he made this art to create discussion and controversy, a stir. He may have been thinking, "How long will they go on about a can of Campbell's Soup, lololol?" The advertising value is indeterminate. Actually, if you time this video it is longer than other similar videos per single subject.

  • I see a lot of people hating this series. Like… why? Because it's not Da Vinci or Michaelangelo? Because it's not a pretty field with bright happy colours? Because it's not art? Why? Why is it not art? Wasn't art suppost to be a thing that bringa forth emotions? Well, if it is, then this is art. It doesn't necessarily bring forth the positive ones, but Andy knew it. That's why he made this. Same with Duchamp's urinal.

  • Whyyy is this art?
    That is a good question! Lol. :p

  • h i p s t e r s h i t

  • Its consumeristic art. The total anti-thesis of Neo-Classical art. I think he was indirectly exposing Marx's notion of commodity fetishism. (Which is the materialistic prerequisite to appreciate modern Pop music). Surrealistic and Cubism was the best abstract art.(Dali, and Picasso) Because it had at least significant genuinity related to realraw existential angst. I believe in free enterprise , but see both sides of story, here. Or try my best 2. Heh.

  • It is not art because what he did was took someone else's art and just did it on a different surface and tried to pass it off as his own and as art. It's not. Even when you look at his Marilyn Monroe's all he did was take a photograph and basically flipped the Spectrum on it and use neons same as with his comic art it's not really art and he didn't do a whole lot of her original stuff he used other people's ideas and other people's art and just put his touch on it and tried to pass it off as such. I think he's one of most overrated people of all time. And one of the biggest problems you'll run into is during Andy's time was basically the birth of the hipster and so many people wanted to be part of that crowd so they endeared him and made him into something that he shouldn't have been along with a lot of the people in his click. And if you were to say something against their art or their seen or their click or their opinion you are on the outside this took place long enough that people accepted it as truth and now if you try to say all while he's overrated along with most of the people he hung out with you get looked at like you know you got a horn growing out of your head. But if you step back and just look at it as in imagine if somebody else right now this very second try to pass off what he did as art right now they get laughed at.

  • I have to admit, it's a well painted can of soup.

  • Let me begin by telling you that when my brother was just starting school, he rebelled at the rules of spelling.
    Why did words have to be spelled in a particular way?
    Why couldn't he spell them as he wanted to spell them?
    He resented the rules and he resisted the authority of those who made them !
    Keep this in mind.

    I think that Conceptual (and Minimalist) art originated with people who could not and would not do the difficult work required to become a 'traditional' visual artist.

    Can't master the necessary skills ?
    No knowledge of perspective?
    Can't draw?
    Don't want to have to learn color theory?
    Can't master composition?
    No knowledge of human anatomy?
    Can't render tonal values
    Can’t be bothered ?

    These are skills that you have to WORK to prefect.
    It’s difficult.
    It takes…..effort.

    You want a fast track to the exalted position of "artist “.

    Well then, belittle the importance of those skills and debase the notion that they are a prerequisite to creating art.
    Instead, create a new genre, one that doesn’t require any of those skills….an art genre that you CAN do.

    And let's call it Conceptual art.
    Conceptual artists claim that IDEAS and CONCEPTS are the main feature of their art.
    They can slap anything together and call it ''conceptual art'' confident that viewers will find SOMETHING to think about it no matter how banal or trivial the artist's concept!

    There is no way conceptual art pieces can be judged.
    The promoters of this art have attacked the motives and credibility of authorities and critics who might disparage the work.
    They have rejected museums and galleries as defining authorities.
    They reject the idea that art can be judged or criticized .
    All of this results in a decline in standards.
    And when you jettison standards, quality suffers.

    There really IS such a thing as BAD art !

    We know this only because we have standards and criteria by which such things can be evaluated.
    It seems that conceptual art comes down to a basic idea:
    No one has the right or authority to make any judgements about art !
    Art is anything you can get away with !

    A whole new language has been created to give the work an air of legitimacy and gravitas.
    Conceptual art is 'sold' to the unwary public with ….."ArtSpeak".

    ArtSpeak is a unique assemblage of English words and phrases that the International Art world uses but which are devoid of meaning!
    Have you ever found yourself confronted by an art gallery’s description of an exhibition which seems completely indecipherable?
    Or an artist’s statement about their work which left you more confused than enlightened?
    You’re not alone.

    Here are examples of ArtSpeak:

    'Works that probe the dialectic between innovations that seem to have been forgotten, the ruinous present state of projects once created amid great euphoria, and the present as an era of transitions and new beginnings.''


    ''The exhibition reactivates his career-long investigation into the social mutations of desire and repression. But his earlier concerns with repression production–in the adolescent or in the family as a whole–give way to the vertiginous retrieval and wayward reinvention of mythical community and sub-cultural traditions.''

    This language is meant to convince me that there is real substance to this drivel which is being passed off as art.
    I don't buy it.

    But plenty of other people DO buy it.
    Not because they love the work.
    They are laying out enormous sums in the belief that their investment will bring them high returns in the future.

    One Jeff Koons conceptual piece is three basketballs suspended in a fish tank.


    Here is Koons' own ArtSpeak explanation of his floating basketball 'concept' verbatim:

    “ This is an ultimate state of being.
    I wanted to play with people’s desires.
    They desire this equilibrium.
    They desire pre-birth.
    I was giving a definition of life and death.
    This is the eternal.
    This is what life is like, also, after death.
    Aspects of the eternal”

    Rather lofty goals for 3 basketballs suspended in a fish tank!!

    It sold for $350,000.
    I wonder what it would have fetched without Koons' name attached to it.

    Or take the case of Martin Creed's ball of crumpled white copy paper.


    He made almost 700 of them!
    Some sold for hundreds of dollars.

    Martin Creed, when asked during an interview how he would respond to those who say the crumpled paper ball isn’t art said :
    “ I wouldn’t call this art either. Who says, anyway, what’s good and what’s bad?”

    ''When confronted with conceptual art, we shouldn’t worry whether it’s art or not because no one really knows what art is.''

    Is this what art has come to??


    Something radical has happened to the art scene in the past 50 years.
    Cubism slid into non-representational art….what is often called Abstract.
    Abstract or non-representational art is a legitimate and often profound genre.

    But to many people, it appeared as if this new style had no structure, principles or standards of evaluation.
    It’s markings seemed random and arbitrary.
    Something that anyone could do.

    Any composition of blotches or scribbles was “Abstract Art”.
    This was the slippery slope that led to the abandonment of standards in art.
    Art is what I say it is….and lots of people jumped on the art bandwagon.
    Anyone can be an artist.
    Anyone can mount a show.
    And who is to say if it has value or not ?

    A tacit agreement has formed among critics, galleries, publications and auction houses to promote and celebrate certain artists and styles.
    Objects with no artistic merit are touted and praised .
    Their value increases with every magazine article, every exhibition in a prestigious gallery.

    And when they come up for auction, sometimes the auction houses will lend vast sums to a bidder so that it appears as if the work of the particular artist is increasing in value.

    The upward spiral begins and fortunes are made.
    And many are reluctant to declare that the Emperor is, in fact, naked lest they appear boorish unsophisticated Philistines !
    This is what dominates the art market today.

    The love of money is the root of all evil.
    It has corrupted politics.
    It has corrupted sport.
    It has corrupted healthcare.
    It has corrupted religion.
    And now it has corrupted art.

    But, there is reason to hope.

    As much of the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans was kept alive through the Middle Ages in small pockets of learning and culture, ateliers have sprung up around the world that are devoted to preserving and handing down the traditional visual arts: drawing, painting and sculpting to each new generation.

    And when this craze for conceptual art has burned itself out and when visual art is no longer looked on as mere decoration and when schools that have dissolved their art programs want to reestablish them again, the world will find these skills preserved through the atelier movement.

  • I have a a shirt with his soup can on it. I feel like this type of art deserves to be on a shirt or a mug, but not in a museum

  • “Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

  • Problem: while the soup cans may be making a philosophical point, or even a sociological statement — that does not make it great art. Beauty is necessary for great art.

  • HE LITERALLY PAINTED SOUP CANS TO SEE IF HE COULD GET ADVERTS IN AN ART MUSEUM. And look at him now… He used to be an Artist in the 1950s but as soon as the 60s hit. He got bored of the strict rules in art so he made the soup cans.

  • U M A M I has, through his own art, created an expanded view on the concept of the value presented by soup. Warhol chose to focus on the commercial nature of mass production and the concept that even the most mundane can be celebrated as art, but he missed an opportunity to truly define the existential meaning of soup (or any lasting legacy for humanity for that matter.) U M A M I ‘s videos “the end of an era” and “the cycle of life,” showcase U M A M I ‘s view of the existential meaning of soup quite nicely, albeit in a dark comedic way. Both videos can be found here on YouTube.

  • I am writing about Andy Warhol in one of my chapters of my Fine Art dissertation, After dismissing him for years as POP, I am absolutely blown away by his work. You just wouldn't realise that most of his work is about death , especially relating to the mass consumerism, celebrity and media control. Totally mind blowing and clever beyond clever.

  • He sure was dedicated to his craft and making moola. Thumbs up to him

  • ok.

  • The Soup Cans might be a satire on the Still Life. As in once artists painted lavish banquet tables or sumptuous bowls of fruit, whereas Warhol is painting cans of soup.

    Perhaps as a celebration of mass consumption; or alternatively he could be
    commenting on mass consumption's hollowness.

    Or maybe he's doing both. Concept art and pop art, simultaneously inflate and deflate the meaning of an object. As in the celebration of the poor humble soup can getting its moment in the spotlight; soon gives way to the reality of its mundanity. As in it's had its fifteen minutes of fame, then it's back in the bin.

    Much like say the stars of reality TV. As in the novelty of ordinary people on the TV soon wears off. Inflation of meaning – soon gives way to a negation of meaning.

  • Art that must be placed in an art gallery to be considered art is not art.

  • The people that call this art "pretentious" are actually the ones being pretentious. Just because you don't get it doesn't make it pretentious. Just because its not a dark and dramatic biblical scene like a Caravaggio or a realistic self portrait like Rembradts, they feel that its not art. Stop and realize that you're the ones trying to be the pretentious gatekeepers of the art world.

  • "Yes, we Can" (Barack Obama)

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