One Word Sunday: Simple

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.

63 comments on “One Word Sunday: Simple

  1. Really relateble I just started my own travel blog and then covid hit and I could not travel anymore from my country. No travel planning for me at all 😦

  2. Sylvia, that is an amazing story. Odd enough that he painted soup cans but I had no idea he did so from having projected them on the wall !! Call me old-fashioned, I always thought those paintings were kind of dumb and I just don’t understand the way the value of modern art is determined. When I lived in Philadelphia one of the main squares featured an iron sculpture of a giant clothespin. REALLY?!?! Go figure😊

    • Hahaha…….There’s no accounting for taste in art. My sister started out painting large canvasses by projecting photos of famous paintings she wanted to copy. It was a good way to start until she got the hang of drawing her own. πŸ˜…

  3. Pingback: Point – Travel with Intent

  4. so fascinating Sylvia. I am no art expert so for me I can’t see the beauty of it. Clearly I don’t know what I am talking about now that the collection is worth 15 million!

  5. I didn’t know the background to Andy Warhol’s art, so thanks for the information and he was a divergent thinker to paint Campbell soups!
    Happy Mother’s Day Sylvia!😁

  6. Once, while having dinner at The Russian Tea Room in NYC, I saw Andy Warhol at an adjoining table having dinner. He was NOT eating Campbell’s soup. πŸ˜€

  7. I had no idea, Ad! I wonder if I could do the same with bottles of HP sauce? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Many thanks for sharing, hon, and I hope you’re having a lovely day.

  8. A perfect choice for simple. Taking an artistic view of soup was quite an achievement. I do enjoy his work, and I guess it is the simplicity that particularly appeals to me.

  9. Dear Sylvia – you have captured the essence of simplicity. What starts small has the power to grow exponentially. One simple idea can change our lives and indeed, the course of a global society. I have been thinking a great deal about simplicity these days, and this post resonated. How a can of soup bring back complex memories? As I look back, what I considered β€œsimple” – a hug, sharing morning coffee, reading a book, receiving a letter – those have become strong recollections. Sending many hugs and love your way.

    • Thanks so much, dear Rebecca. Your mention of recollecting with pleasure the simple things, reminded me of a poster i once saw which said something like,”Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realise that they were the big things.” I hope you and your dear mom are having a really special Mother’s Day. Hugs back to you. xxx

  10. Not too shabby a return indeed, for a soup can! πŸ˜‰ I didn’t know it was a tribute to his mother either [thank you, Mary Jo!].
    Happy Sunday and a beautiful week ahead, Sylvia! xoxoxo

  11. A happy Mother’s Day to you as well, Sylvia. I like the story but still feel the same as you about the painting and the price, especially after reading how he did the paintings! But I’m not really into what’s called Modern Art anyway and this is much better than many of that genre I’ve seen.

    janet

  12. A perfect story for Mother’s Day, Sylvia! I’ve read several articles about Warhol who explained the soup can art was really a tribute to his mother. It represented home and mother, as well as her own artistic endeavors.

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