How tastes Campbell’s tomato soup?

“Because I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for twenty years, I guess, the same thing over and over again.“ (Andy Warhol) [1]


Campbell’s tomato soup, Andy Warhol, Siebdruck, 1968

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) remarked that he had Campbell’s soups at lunch every day for around twenty years. That was the decisive point why he started to paint them.[2] In this way, an everyday mass product became art. Not only painted Warhol the soup cans, he also reproduced them mechanically by silkscreen. With this trick he remade mass production from art. In addition, Warhol tried to dissociate the artwork from its obvious authorship. Warhol stated that he would find it so great if more people started to silkscreen and thus, no one would know whether his work was really his or somebody else’s work.[3] Warhol wanted to be a machine.[4] He claimed to be culture, unlike other artists such as Jackson Pollock, who indicated that he wanted to be nature.[5]
Warhol knew how to combine art and business. Without doubt, Warhol polarized to this extent. Film stars, soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles, he reproduced what was already known by the people. Robert Hughes, one of his fiercest critics, commented that it is a capitalist evil to produce Coca-Cola bottles in the South and sale them in Abu Dhabi, but a cultural criticism to paint these bottles in a factory in New York and sell them in Düsseldorf.[6]

Like Coca-Cola bottles Campbell’s soup cans symbolize besides capitalism, the “American Dream” and the “American Way of Life“. However, in contrast to Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell’s soup cans are less associated with globalization. Outside America, Warhol’s reproductions are probably more known as the original. At least, this assumption can be applied to Anna and Adrien from dieKulturvermittlung. For both, that fact could not remain the case and so they decided to taste the tomato soup of Campbell’s.


The original Campbell’s
tomato soup can


Preparation on the stove: Mix one can of soup with one can of water, until the soup boils, stir occasionally.


Ready to eat


Adrien: “I like the taste of the soup. Specially the light flavour of vinegar is good.”

Anna: “It reminds me of tomato paste for pizza with salt. I any cases it is edible, but nothing special. I prefer definitively home made soup, but when there is not a lot of time for cooking, why not!” (Anna, dieKulturvermittlug, 15.04.2015)

Find out more about Andy Warhol and other pop art artists at the exhibition “Ludwig Goes Pop” in the Viennese mumok. The exhibition is running until September 13, 2015 Vienna. The soup cans are also there.


[1] Swenson, Gene R., Warhol, Andy (1963): What is Pop Art? Teil 1. In: ARTnews, LXII, November,

[2] cf. Swenson, Gene R., Warhol, Andy (1963): What is Pop Art? Teil 1. In: ARTnews, LXII, November,

[3] ebd.

[4] cf. Hughes, Robert (1982): The rise of Andy Warhol. In: The New York review of books,

[5] ebd.

[6] ebd.

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