Representations of Everyday Objects


“I am for the art of ice-cream cones dropped on concrete... I am for the art of teddy-bears and guns and decapitated rabbits, exploded umbrellas, raped beds, chairs with their brown bones broken, burning trees, firecracker ends, chicken bones, pigeon bones …” –Claes Oldenburg

Everyday we are surrounded by and interact with countless objects that are so commonplace they often go unnoticed. While artists have included objects such as tableware, trinkets, and household goods in their work for centuries (especially in still lifes), it wasn't until the 1960s and Pop Art that artists like Oldenburg sought to place these daily items front and center in the realm of art. Perhaps the most iconic examples of everyday objects depicted in art are Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can works (Warhol claimed he ate soup for lunch everyday for 20 years). Pop artists—and many artists in their wake—consistently sought out the most mundane, commercially manufactured items, at the same time abandoning any conventions around how such objects might be presented (as in a more traditional still life).

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