Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art is an art product that is part of the larger project, Authentic Contemporary Art.

Each can is titled a different color. The piece plays on the idea of art being only about color and uses the iconography of the can as the object of the ideal piece of contemporary art.

Andy Warhol gets credit for popularizing the can as a contemporary art object. He notably explained his thinking, “I wanted to paint nothing. I was looking for something that was the essence of nothing, and the soup can was it.” But it was Piero Manzoni who first introduced the object by filling 90 tin cans with 30 grams of his own feces and labeling the work, Artist’s Shit. (The actual content of the cans is disputed.) While Manzoni proposed the can as a symbol of contemporary art, particularly the commodification of artistic ideas, Warhol used the can as a symbol of Twentieth Century America, particularly the nothingness of rampant consumerism and the celebrity-esque nature of products which are ultimately just part of mundane life. Since then, artists have used the can as a canvas to express and play with ideas about art and consumption. Six Cans of Contemporary Art: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, & Purple is a continuation of that tradition.

In 2004, Campbell’s Soup Company finally co-opted the art and released a line of products inspired by Warhol’s designs. In the Fall of 2012, the company did it again in an exclusive retail partnership with Target. When cultural ideas are gobbled up by advertising, they often become distorted. Warhol’s meditation on the ubiquitous, albeit mundane, subject of the soup can became a flashy selling point for that soup can. The irony of Warhol’s original ideas about a soup can symbolizing nothingness seemed to be lost on the company which also glossed over other ideals about contemporary art: The edition was “limited” to a million cans and sold at Target, a retail store that promotes the sort of manifest consumerism the Pop Art movement rallied against.

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art is a gesture intended at reclaiming and re-balancing the iconic can and its place in the history of ideas.

ART PRODUCT

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art:
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, & Purple

set of 6 cans
each 3.5” tall x 2.5” diameter
11.7oz
edition of 50
signed & numbered
2013

AVAILABLE HERE

LARGE SCULPTURAL INSTALLATION

Six Cans of Authentic Contemporary Art:
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, & Purple

set of 6 cans, each 43” tall x 23” diameter; 17 lbs
fiber, metal, paper

The viewer encounters over-sized/ life-sized cans. Cans may be stacked in a tower 11-feet tall or piled and leaned against one another depending on space. Each can is titled a different color. The piece uses the iconography of the can as the object of the ideal piece of contemporary art.

ART IS FOOD. EAT SOMETHING