Hot Dog Bean 59 is a screenprint included in Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup II portfolio from 1969. This collection is a continuation of Campbell’s Soup I from 1968, with ten additional prints featuring more uncommon flavors and Warhol’s own illustrations. When Warhol debuted his original 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962, the commercial subject matter shocked his audience. Since then, the soups have become some of the most important images in modern art history. Ultimately, Warhol’s soup cans are a commentary on the commodification of art, and represent a new source of artistic inspiration. Warhol wanted to draw attention towards untapped sources of artistic power, steering away from common concepts like nature and emotion. Notably, the Campbell’s Soup II portfolio ranks amongst Warhol’s top 10 most valuable portfolios of all time.
The Campbell’s Soup Can is one of the most iconic pop art images of the century, serving as a symbol of consumerism and advertising. To create his iconic designs, Warhol appropriated well known objects consumer culture, transforming them into high art. Warhol took the simple design and blew it up to a 35×32 inch print, with its flat and bold composition. Ultimately, the Campbell’s Soup Cans challenged what could be deemed socially and artistically acceptable, forever changing the trajectory of modern art.
This new collection of prints has the same trademark design Americans know and love, but with the bonus of new graphics. In place of the traditional Campbell’s golden seal, Warhol created unique illustrations for each label. Hot Dog Bean 59 shows a banner which reads “Stout Hearted Soup,” held up by two Queen’s Guard soldiers. The front of the soup can also reads, “Hot Dog Bean – Tender Beans and Little Frankfurter Slices”. This fun new design fits well into the portfolio, but stays true to the repetitive appearance which Warhol appreciated. Other works from this series include New England Clam Chowder 57, Tomato-Beef Noodle O’s 61, Chicken N’ Dumplings 58 and Vegetarian Vegetable 56.
Originally, Warhol hand painted the cans for his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans portfolio. This all changed after the development of the screen printing technique, which Warhol used for its reliable and precise results. This new creative development became Warhol’s signature method of artistic production, which he used to mass produce detailed images in a more accessible way. By using this new technique, Warhol harnessed his true power and created the repetitive images that made him famous.
Warhol’s love for mass-production, advertisement and Campbell’s soup all morphed together to create these portfolios. Although the soup cans are arguably his most notable works, the artist received some backlash after showcasing his original series. Due to the unfamiliar subject matter of Warhol’s Soup Cans, people questioned the significance of his work. Indeed, the commercial subject matter offended many artists and critics. Fifty-nine years after their original debut, people may still debate the artistic value of Warhol’s soup cans. Nonetheless, the soups became some of the most beloved Pop-art images.
Despite some of the initial criticism Warhol received, the soups launched his identity to the world of fine art. The Campbell’s Soup Cans soon became a quintessential item of pop-art history. Warhol created his original design for these soup cans at the dawn of the new art movement, helping to launch the genre to the realm of mainstream art. Still to this day, Warhol’s soup cans rule the pop-art world, with their bold design and conceptual depth.