Today’s Illustration: Why A Soup Can?

You can create a trash can that is designed to look like a steroidal Campbell’s soup can.  Here are the instructions from Britt Michelsen, if you are interested!

Who would want to design and complete such a project?  Well, the answer is more than Britt Michelsen.  It really goes back to 1962!


Who: Andy Warhol — Still, one of the most famous artists of all time.  Who hasn’t seen the iconic tomato soup can painting?

* He was working as a commercial artist and served such companies as Tiffany and Dior.
* “Richard Oldenburg, director of the Museum of Modern Art, said Warhol “was one of the first people to really become a star as an artist.”
* Real name: “Andrew Warhola”
* One of three sons, born of Czech immigrants
* Grew up in McKeesport, Pa.
* Warhol’s father died when he was 14 years old.
* Warhol suffered three nervous breakdowns as a child.
* He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh” in 1949
* His degree was in pictorial design.
* The culture and society would now accept as “art,” a wide variety of subjects such as soup cans, Brillo boxes, car accidents, Coke bottles, hamburgers, vacuum cleaners, to Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley
* Died of a heart attack in 1987, at New York Hospital, after gallbladder surgery.
(Yes, it is a “crazy world.”)
* Net worth upon his death — $220 million
* “The Andy Warhol Museum, located in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The museum is the largest one in the entire country devoted to just one artist.”
* He never married.
* Valerie Solanas attempted to murder Andy Warhol — June 3, 1968

What:  Thirty-two paintings of various soup cans, from Tomato — to Cream of Mushroom — to Split Pea. — 1962

When: Born August 6, 1928

Where: Displayed at The Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Why:  Existentialism, a prevailing philosophy of life, had finally collided with art.  A soup can was now as important as a painting of a person or a landscape.  The ordinary and common are as significant as the beautiful and delightful.  You see, we live in “a crazy and random world;” it’s a world of meaningless and chance!  It is often labeled as “Abstract Expressionism.”

. . . . . 

Other Details & Quotations:

  • “Warhol projected the image of a soup can onto his blank canvas, traced the outline and details, then carefully filled it in using old-fashioned brushes and paint.” —
  • “‘I just paint things I always thought were beautiful, things you use every day and never think about.’ Warhol’s statement epitomizes his ethos; his works put ordinary items front and center.” — theartstory
  • “After her sudden death from an overdose of sleeping pills in August 1962, superstar Marilyn Monroe’s life, career, and tragedy became a worldwide obsession. Warhol, being infatuated with fame and pop culture, obtained a black-and-white publicity photo of her (from her 1953 film Niagara) and used the photo to create several series of images.”
    . . . . . 
    A common idea to all the Marilyn works was that her image was reproduced over and over again as one would find it reprinted in newspapers and magazines at the time. After viewing dozens, or hundreds of such images, a viewer stops seeing a person depicted, but is left with an icon of popular, consumer culture. The image (and the person) become another cereal box on the supermarket shelf, one of hundreds of boxes – which are all exactly the same.
    . . . . . 
    “In Gold Marilyn Monroe, Warhol further plays on the idea iconography, placing Marilyn’s face on a very large golden-colored background. The background is reminiscent of Byzantine religious icons that are the central focus in Orthodox faiths to this day. Only instead of a god, we are looking at an image . . . of a woman that rose to fame and died in horrible tragedy. Warhol subtly comments on our society, and its glorification of celebrities to the level of the divine. ” — theartstory

    . . . . . . 
  • “Behind Warhol’s silver wig and black glasses . . . was a devout Catholic who went to mass and volunteered at homeless shelters regularly. Warhol’s mother was a very religious woman who instilled in him a connection to the church.

    Warhol’s religiosity is most exemplified by the late works that he created based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper (1495–1498). Warhol based his works on a black and white photograph of a popular 19th century engraving and ended up producing over a hundred drawings, paintings, and silkscreens of the Renaissance masterpiece. From superimposing brand names over the faces of the apostles, to cutting up the unity of the scene, Warhol honored the original painting while adding it into his business enterprise.”  — theartstory
    . . . . . . 

  • Published an “absurdist” cookbook —  (“absurdism” is part of the existentialist movement — “Theater of the Absurd” — when phislopohy collides with theater).

. . . . . 

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • meaninglessness
  • empty / emptiness
  • philosophy / life view
  • lostness
  • Ecclesiastes
  • creativity
  • struggles
  • futility
  • foolishness

Sermonic Example:

One of the most popular and known artists worldwide was Andrew Warhola  — more commonly known as Andy Warhol.  He used his artistic abilities to launch out on his own after. graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology.  His style was completely new, but relevant to his times.

He was an artist which took the mindset of his day, the secular life view of his era, and put it to canvas.  His iconic painting of a Campbell Soup Can reflected the thinking of his culture — a soup can was as meaningful as the painting of a person or a landscape.  Life was meaningless and random and his art reflected that thinking!

The meaningless of existence was probed long before Warhol brought it to the cultural pop art forefront, by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1 . . . .

— [Include whatever details you find useful]

. . . . . 

Other Information & Links:

Link to Francis Schaeffer examination of the art of Andy Warhol

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