7 Jul
Soup Cans Exhibition opens July 9 at MOCA

In 2011 it’s easy to dismiss Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans as been-there-done-that monotony. Who wants to stare at a painting of an object you can buy for less than a dollar at Ralphs or the 99 Cent Store? I do, and we all should.

Warhol’s iconic painting is actually thirty-two paintings side by side, each with a different Campbell’s label. Warhol reproduced the industrial look of the labels by hand, and it’s a deft mix of corporate monotony and artistic playfulness. MOCA Los Angeles displays the piece starting this Saturday, July 9, until September 7 to celebrate the 49th anniversary of Warhol’s first solo show ever — which took place not in NYC but in good old Los Angeles in 1962 at Irving Blum’s Ferus Gallery. Why they’re not waiting a year and celebrating the more conventional 50th anniversary is a mystery, but no matter. Supposedly NYC-staple Warhol was reluctant to have his first solo show on the West Coast until Blum — obviously a wily gallery owner — told the fame obsessed artist there would be oodles of movie stars roaming around the exhibit. Warhol was sold.

Oodles of stars didn’t exactly show up (a thirty year old Dennis Hopper — the James Franco of the 1960s — checked it out), but obviously that didn’t really hamper Warhol’s fame and career. He’s one artist who still manages to out-Banksy Banksy. Warhol was so ahead of his time (can you imagine what he’d do with Snooki, Facebook, Paris Hilton and iPhones?) that it’s worth paying your respects and taking some time to stand in front of his Soup Cans. It may feel simplistic to some, which may have been his plan all along.

Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans Exhibition runs July 9 to September 7, MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., Downtown. More info at MOCA

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  1. this article thank you

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