The most famous voice of of Pop Art, Andy Warhol, died in Manhattan at 6:32 am on February 22, 1987. He was 58. While he had been recuperating well from a gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital, he suddenly died in his sleep from a sudden post-operative irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors.
Shortly before Warhol’s death, doctors expected Warhol to survive the surgery, though a re-evaluation of the case about thirty years after his death showed many indications that his surgery was in fact riskier than originally thought. It was widely reported at the time that Warhol died of a “routine” surgery, though when considering factors such as his age, a family history of gallbladder problems, his previous gunshot wound, and his medical state in the weeks leading up to the procedure, the potential risk of death following the surgery appeared to have been significant.
What made Andy Warhol paint soup cans?
This is what the Campbell’s soup company website have to say about why Andy Warhol painted soup cans:
Known to be his most iconic work of all time, the ‘32 Campbell’s Soup Cans’ from 1962 is still being enjoyed by museum visitors today, at the MoMA in New York. It was known that when reflecting back on his career, Warhol claimed that this piece was his favourite work, and that “I should have just done the Campbell’s Soups and kept on doing them… because everybody only does one painting anyway.”
Many stories say that Warhol’s choice to paint soup cans reflected on his own devotion to Campbell’s soup as a customer. Robert Indiana once said, “I knew Andy very well. The reason he painted soup cans is that he liked soup.”
Warhol was thought to have focused on them because they composed a daily dietary staple. Others said Campbell’s was a brand “close to his heart”.
Whatever might have been the real reason why Andy Warhol painted soup cans, it turned him into an art world superstar.