Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Cans

It’s always exciting when art and food, two things I really love, collide into one big giant piece of goodness such as the recent release of the 2012 Limited Edition Andy Warhol Campbell’s Tomato Soup Cans at Target.

Andy Warhol was an American Pop artist who is probably most well-known for his portraits of Marilyn Monroe and his various depictions of Campbell’s Soup cans.  While Andy Warhol’s work is not really “my style” I can certainly appreciate his desire to make people think about art.

In 1962 Andy Warhol created his world-famous artwork Campbell’s Soup Cans which is also sometimes called 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans.  The piece consists of 32 separate canvases which each measure 20 inches tall and 16 inches wide.  This artwork currently belongs to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City.

Image used under the Fair Use Act - Critical Commentary on the work in question, the artistic genre or technique of the work of art.

In 1964 he participated in an exhibit called the American Supermarket in which the participating artists goal was to bring to light the closeness of art and goods to presentation and sales.  The exhibit was entered through a turnstile and the artists work were displayed in freezers and on store shelves.  Warhol, beneath the shadow of one of his Campbell’s Soup silkscreens, built a stack of original, signed, Campbell’s Soup cans and declared them as art or “Warhols”.  He sold the cans for $6.00 each.

And what American is not familiar with Campbell’s Soup?  Campbell’s soup has been around since 1869 and is currently being sold in 120 countries world-wide.  When asked why he painted Campbell’s soup Warhol replied, “I used to have the same [Campbell’s soup] lunch every day for twenty years.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s famous artwork, Campbell’s soup has released 4 limited edition can’s complete with a replica of Andy Warhol’s signature.

Campbell’s soup has made very few changes to their label in the past so this is an exciting event.  Limited edition Warhol cans were also released in 2004 and 2006 but the 2012 design is done in a different colorway than the previously released cans.

The 2004 cans were sold in shrink-wrapped four-packs in colors more in keeping with Andy Warhol’s style.  75,000 four-packs were distributed to Giant Eagle Supermarkets but quickly found their way onto ebay and other online sites selling at much higher prices than the retail value.  The 2006 cans were sold at Barney’s of New York and were limited to 12,000 units.

The 2012 cans are currently on sale at Target stores around the country.  Cans are available as single units for .75 cents each while supplies last.  While the “limited edition” is a lot less limited this time with 1.2 million cans being released, they are still interesting and very collectible but will not likely sell for exorbitant prices on eBay like previously released versions.  There goes my retirement plan!

The limited edition can’s went on sale on September 2 and are selling out quickly.  My local Target was down to their last case last night.  If you are interested in owning one of these beauties head out to Target now, before it’s too late!


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