Andy Warhol’s career took a different trajectory to Lichtenstein’s: Warhol began as a commercial artist, and from there moved into the art world. A gallery owner gave Warhol the idea of painting soup cans, suggesting that he should paint objects that people use every day.
Warhol had been an extremely successful consumer advertising designer. He used the techniques of his trade to create easily recognizable images, images found in advertising. Consumer goods and “ad” imagery were flooding the lives of Americans, a sign of the prosperity of that age, and Warhol set out to recreate that sense of abundance. Warhol is seen as the inventor of a new type of art, one that glorified – but also criticized – the endless consumption, the endless buying of things, by his contemporaries.
Talk About This
Why would Andy Warhol have so carefully reproduced a piece of ordinary packaging, available in any grocery store or supermarket at the time – silkscreening and recreating it as an empty box half a metre high?
What do you think these artists were saying about the consumer society they were a part of?