Fine Art/Andy Warhol


Hello Ms. Johnson,
   My name is Alexa Milliman and I am a High School student in Northern Illinois.  I have been assigned to do a project on an artist of choice (Andy Warhol), and find an expert that could answer a couple of questions that I have about him.  If you could help me that would be excellent.  I would like to know if there was any way that Andy Warhol could be considered a realist...obviously as well as a pop artist.  And I was also wondering if there was anything that you know about the Campbell's soup adds.  Thanks for your help.

Well, yes, of course he was a realist -- his paintings of items out of popular culture (soup cans, soap cartons....) were highly realistic.  What was unusual was his choice of subject matter -- items of popular culture (hence: "pop" art).

What do you mean by the Campbell's soup ads?  Do you mean the series of portraits of Campbell's soup cans that he did?

An earlier pop artist is Sister Mary Corita (now Corita Kent) from Immaculate Heart college in California: she thought the displays of tires in tire stores were beautiful, wrapped in red and green, an eternal Christmas.

What both artists have in common is taking mass-produced and mass-displayed common items of 20th century culture and elevating them to iconic status.

Canned food is, you know, a 20th century development.  I have a cookbook from the 1930s that does not use any canned food; it wasn't mass produced.  Mass production is a 20th century development.  People don't always see what is all around them: that's what Sister Mary Corita and Andy Warhol and other later pop artists did; they brought attention to the commonplace.

Last, Andy Warhol entered art through being a successful commercial advertising artist (lots of shoes for ads); his fascination with advertising imagery and pop icons developed out of this.
If you use this, please credit copyright Alison McMahon Johnson 2003 and the URL where you find this answer (my own URL

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Alison McMahon Johnson


Art history, materials and techniques of drawing and painting, drawing, painting, lighting


Past/Present clients
Paintings hanging in Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan; cultural centers in LA and NY; in private collections around the world.

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