"I used to drink it [Campbell's Soup]. I used to have the same lunch every day for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again."--Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, began his career as a commercial artist in New York City. In the late 1950s, he began applying his commercial style to paintings and prints. He created imagery incorporating consumer products such as Campbell's Soup cans and Coca Cola bottles as well as celebrity photos and tabloid photographs of "disasters." Warhol quickly established himself as the most famous figure in American Pop Art.
For Warhol and other Pop artists, the replication of imagery from popular culture was a visual means for expressing detachment from emotions, an attitude they regarded as characteristic of the 1960s. Soup cans, repeated endlessly on grocery store shelves and varying only in the flavor of soup, were an ideal means for celebrating the sameness of mass culture and the numbing effects of being bombarded with images.
Warhol sought to make artworks that had the most mechanical look he could render, which contradicted the idea of high art as individual and expressive. This particular work was printed using a silkscreening technique that eliminates all signs of the artist's touch. He worked with assistants in his studio, called the Factory, to produce these prints. As the name denotes, the Factory functioned much like a art-making machine--churning out print after print just like non-art, commercial products. Warhol said, "The reason I am painting this way is because I want to be a machine. Whatever I do, and do machine-like, is because it is what I want to do. I think it would be terrific if everybody was alike."