The theme for Debbie’s ‘ One Word Sunday’ is ‘Simple’. Just prior to the Covid19 pandemic which sent everyone scurrying for safety, we visited an art exhibition here in West Palm.There were so many interesting paintings and sculptures, but this one by Andy Warhol really caught my eye. I asked myself, “Why on earth would anyone paint a simple can of chicken noodle soup and a can opener?” More to the point, “Who would buy such a painting and where might they hang it?”
So I simply went to Google my good friend and educator, only to read that Mr Warhol, a little-known artist back in 1962, opened his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles with his thirty-two paintings consisting solely of images of cans of various flavours of Campbell’s soup. His painting method was quite simple in that he 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. What could be simpler than that?
When asked why he painted soup cans, his simple explanation was that he liked soup and had eaten Campbell’s soup for lunch every day for twenty years. At first his soup can paintings were ridiculed, but when a few people began to show interest, they were bought as a set for $1000 to be paid over ten months, by the now legendary contemporary art dealer Irving Blum. In 1996 Warhol’s soup cans were recognized as museum-worthy art, by no less than The Museum of Modern Art, which bought the set of 32 paintings from Irving Blum for upwards of $15 million, not too shabby a return on the original selling price of $1000.
I wish you all a simply wonderful Sunday, especially all the loving mothers out there.