MOMA Short Essay Assignment

Alberto Ramirez

ENG 2150

12 April 2024

Cultural Artifact Essay

“32 Campbell’s Soup Cans” is the title of Andy Warhol’s cultural artifact. The term has a direct impact on the experience of seeing the artwork since it draws attention to the fact that the subject matter it depicts is commonplace and daily. Through the use of common soup cans as his subject matter, Warhol challenges conventional notions of what makes art and urges viewers to reconsider their preconceptions of what constitutes beauty and what defines artistic excellence. This cultural artifact was produced by Andy Warhol in the 1960s, during the time period of the Pop Art movement. By criticizing consumer society and mass manufacturing, Warhol’s artwork mirrors the spirit of the time period in which it was created. A large amount of societal change occurred throughout the 1960s, and Warhol’s artwork frequently made observations about the commercialization of society and the impact of advertising during this time period. The labels on each soup can are writings that is part of the art. The writing adds to the meaning of the art, which is its goal. It could be seen as both a break from the images and an addition to them. The Campbell’s Soup can labels being used over and over again creates an eye-catching pattern and draws attention to how similar and mass-produced market goods are. The use of color in the artwork, predominantly red and white, creates a bold and visually impactful composition. The colors evoke a sense of familiarity as they are commonly associated with the Campbell’s Soup brand. Emotionally, these colors can evoke feelings of nostalgia, comfort, and even a sense of irony given the context of the artwork within the Pop Art movement. The composition of the artwork tells a story of repetition, consumerism, and the blurring of art and everyday objects. Each soup can represents a standardized product, emphasizing mass production and uniformity. The image has been framed in a grid format, enhancing the idea of repetition and uniformity, while also creating a sense of order and structure that adds to the overall impact of the piece. Warhol’s intention with this piece was to challenge traditional notions of art and to provoke thought about consumer culture and mass production. The message is more about informing and critiquing rather than persuading or calling to action. The target audience may include those interested in art, popular culture, and social commentary. The purpose of the artwork being in a museum adds to its prestige and cultural significance, providing viewers with a curated experience that enhances their understanding and enjoyment of the piece. Looking at art in person is more engaging and natural than reading about it online or in a book, where you might not fully understand the piece’s size and feel. This artwork “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans” is considered a cultural artifact because of its historical significance, iconic representation, influence on art and culture, and status as a symbol of artistic innovation. This piece, like all of Warhol’s other work, has had a huge impact on modern art and society. It has made people, including artists and reviewers, think again about what art is, what part mass media plays, and how consumerism affects society.