What Memes Owe to Art History
Title: Campbell’s Soup II: Hot Dog Bean (FS II.59)
Medium: Screenprint on Paper
Size: 35″ x 23″
Edition: Edition of 250 signed and numbered in ball-point pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso.
CAMPBELLS SOUP II: HOT DOG AND BEAN 59
Warhol’s Hot Dog Bean 59 is a part of his Campbell’s Soup Cans II portfolio. Created in 1969 and seven years after his first Campbell’s Soup Cans series, Hot Dog Bean 59 is one of ten screenprints in the portfolio. The screenprints are characterized by the realistic depiction of a soup can, in this case “Hot Dog Bean 59” soup, and the likeness of the Campbell’s logo. The decision to create this series twice was based on the well-known soup notoriety. Warhol was interested in what made people and things famous and well-liked. This ties further into his propensity for consumerism and the beginning of his artistic career as an advertising illustrator. In creating his soup cans, Warhol was able to transform an everyday commodity into a valuable work of art. The genius behind this is that Warhol was able to make a can of soup, that would cost less than a dollar at the time, and add hundreds, thousands and millions of dollars to its value through the artistic process of one part aestheticism and another part ingenuity.
CAMPBELLS SOUP II: HOT DOG BEAN 59 AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK
The soup cans were a legitimate subject as a modern “still life” during the postwar American economy. First shown at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1962, the exhibit started as a series of paintings and established Warhol’s first solo exhibition as an overnight success. A major inspiration through out Andy Warhol’s career was the power of the image. His fascination of how the representative overtook reality was the source for countless works, including the Campbell’s Soup Cans portfolio. Some of the most famous and recognizable images in art history, the Soup Cans by Andy Warhol helped to usher in the Pop Art movement that endures today, renewed and rediscovered by artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.
Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.
American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
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