“I just happen to like ordinary things. When I paint them, I don't try to make them extraordinary. I just try to paint them ordinary-ordinary.” — Andy Warhol, American Pop Artist
Andy Warhol’s famous work titled “Campbell’s Soup Cans” debuted at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles on this day in 1962, a foundational moment for the burgeoning pop art movement. Consisting of 32 paintings of ordinary Campbell’s Soup cans — one for each variety the company offered at the time — the piece was Warhol’s first one-man gallery exhibition. As for why he chose Campbell’s Soup of all brands, Warhol gave this very mundane answer: “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.” Instantly sparking debate about the artistic value and merit of pop art, Warhol rode the wave of controversy surrounding the paintings, becoming a household name and one of the world’s highest-paid artists, earning himself far more than just fifteen minutes of fame.