HARRY J. JOHNSON
After studying design and painting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Warhol arrived in New York in 1950 and became a commercial artist. He was hugely successful and won the prestigious Art Directors Club Medal in 1952 and again in 1957. In the advertising business he was considered the best and was widely imitated.
Warhol in 1960 began to reproduce widely recognized images such as newspaper ads and comic strips. Soon he was replicating the packaging of everyday products. His first gallery shows were in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1961-1962).
His soup cans had nothing to do with originality. They emphasized sameness, in size and color and product. Only the flavor labels were different, e.g., tomato, onion, etc. The products fame, Campbells Soup, soon became his own. He used the medium of silk screening to because it required the least work and it lent itself to mass production. He didnt bother to clean up printing imperfections. They became part of the art. In fact, unlike the prototypical fine artist, he worked more like a manufacturer in his art studio, which he aptly named The Factory.
According to Warhol biographer
Victor Bokris, a friend of Warhols, an art dealer, suggested he
should paint what his liked most in life money. You should
paint something that everybody sees every day, that everybody recognizes...
like a can of soup. So Warhol sent an assistant out to buy each
of the 32 varieties of Campbells soup. He would eventually become
one of the most important fine artists and cultural icons of the 20th