Pop Art - Andy Warhol - Soup Label

QUESTION: Is the label on a can of soup, art? What is your opinion of the work of Andy Warhol? In what ways has it affected your own style - or has it not?

In my opinion the label on soup is not art, but has been graphically arranged for effective communication. There is an artistic touch to the organization and use of space, color, fonts that establishes visual hierarchy, but in my opinion it is not art on the typical Campbell’s soup label. I would consider this more design or layout or design.  In examining other labels for example Hobo Soup, I find this example to be a form of art. The designer has incorporated and illustration in a clever combination with the necessary text and color. The movement of the cooking soup smell works great to create visual hierarchy and lead the viewer to the product name, which is also identified by the imagery. The imagery is interacting with the text and works together as a whole.  I would consider this label art.
The practice of taking common everyday objects, images and even icons that are easily identified in their culture and incorporating them and redefining them in artwork is known as the “Pop Art” style. Andy Warhol is one of the many artists known for working in this style and being part of this movement. While he has been able to create many pieces and be quite successful in this style, I personally am not a big fan of the style alone. It seems strange that an artist can repeat an image, object or photograph, change the colors and claim it as their art. I know as a designer, I can’t even really use photography that has been produced by another individual without purchasing it or asking permission.
Even though I am not a huge fan of this movement in art history, I personally think it is one of the best and more inspiring movements. The main elements I pull from this style are rebellion, mockery, and free political expression. I see how it mocks mass production and materialism with the boom of consumerism in that time of society. I see had it points its finger at society and laughs. It shattered the division of fine artists and commercial design and has bridged the gap between these two art forms. Without the Pop Art movement graphic design would be completely different today.

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