Though Campbell’s Soup Cans resembles the mass-produced, printed advertisements by which Warhol was inspired, its canvases are hand-painted, and the fleur de lys pattern ringing each can’s bottom edge is hand-stamped. Warhol mimicked the repetition and uniformity of advertising by carefully reproducing the same image across each individual canvas. He varied only the label on the front of each can, distinguishing them by their variety. Warhol said of Campbell’s soup, “I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again.”

Towards the end of 1962, shortly after he completed Campbell’s Soup Cans, Warhol turned to the photo-silkscreen process. A printmaking technique originally invented for commercial use, it would become his signature medium and link his art making methods more closely to those of advertisements. “I don’t think art should be only for the select few,” he claimed, “I think it should be for the mass of the American people.”

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