Cultural Icon: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol not only saw things differently than most, but his works forced the American public to look at things differently. Once Warhol’s 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans were displayed on the wall of a Los Angeles gallery in 1962, the country became plunged into a Pop Culture controversy that resulted in Warhol becoming the highest priced living artist of the 20th century.

What Warhol did, was to ask us to see things in our culture, like the mass produced and the mundane, and think about how they reflect our values.


At Vertu, we are always on the lookout for fine, authenticated prints by this modern master. His work is still as powerful now as it was when he first began working with silkscreen in 1961.

Here’s a look at some of the Warhol pieces that we have been lucky enough to acquire:


Golden Mushroom Soup

Warhol told a British journalist that his mother made flowers out of tin cans, to get extra money to help support the family. He said that the cans she kept around the house influenced the choice of subject for his Campbell’s Soup paintings. Golden Mushroom Soup was done in 1969, part of the Campbell’s Soup ll series. It’s signed and rubber stamp numbered on verso, part of an edition of 250.



Shortly after the death of Marilyn Monroe, Warhol painted a diptych of Marilyn Monroe and continued to use the faces of celebrities in his work. Marilyn Diptych is part of the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery in London. Based on a 1953 publicity photo for the film Niagara, Warhol uses garish color to highlight the unreality that enhances the cult quality of celebrity.

The screen prints, Marilyn, in our collection, were done in 1967 and are based on the same publicity photo that inspired Warhol’s first pieces of Marilyn. One is initialed AW 67, the other hand signed. Both are rubber stamped and authenticated on verso, from an edition of 250.



Liz is an offset lithograph, done in 1964, that repeats the theme of celebrity cult, the face that can be contoured and colored away from the ordinary. Liz is ball point pen signed and dated.



Another offset lithograph done in 1964, Flowers uses color to create simple flowers that contrast with the complex grass background. It is signed and dated Andy Warhol 65 on the lower right. This is a wonderful example of Warhol’s talent as a fine artist.


Space Fruit: Still Life (Cantaloupes l)

Created on Lennox Museum Board, Warhol used texture and shadows to develop this riveting still life. This screenprint was produced in 1979, a time when Warhol was pushing the envelope of how the artist views the composition in front of him. In the same way that he used different colors to change the look of a celebrity, or the image of a celerity, Warhol would use the same objects and reposition and relight them to change their look. The series is fun to look at, and was probably fun to create.


Shoes – Deluxe Edition

Andy Warhol began his career as a commercial artist in New York. He did illustrations for Glamour magazine, Vogue, Tiffany & Co. and designed windows for high-end department stores like Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Warhol drew and painted pictures of shoes throughout his life. The book, Shoes, Shoes, Shoes is a collection of many of those drawings, along with some of Warhol’s most famous quotes. Shoes – Deluxe Edition (edition of 10) is a large, stunning screenprint with diamond dust. The beautiful shoes appear to float in and on the texture of the paper.


Santa Claus

“My idea of a good picture,” Warhol said, “is one that is in focus and of a famous person.” That sums it up for this screenprint, with diamond dust, of Santa. Talk about great Christmas gift…


More About Andy Warhol

After graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949 with a degree in Pictorial Design, Andy Warhol headed straight for New York and began his career as a commercial artist. His talent and energy led him to work as a painter, printer, photographer, filmmaker, whose work had an impact on American art and culture. Warhol died in 1987, and his works are still some of the most widely sought after in the world. See more of Warhol’s prints here.

I think that people never die. They just go to department stores.” – Andy Warhol

July 15, 2015
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