While trolling through the website that is BBC News, I came across this item about the original artwork by Garth Williams for E.B. White’s book, Charlotte’s Web, being sold at auction for $155,000.
The thought of art being sold (and for six figures or more) reminded me of a conversation I had with my oldest son, Christopher which was part of this ceditra entry I wrote on March 17 of this year which revolves around question number 1,629 from the book, Know It All, by Marsha Kranes, Fred Worth, and Steve Temerius.
Q: What was the inspiration for Cambbell’s red-and-white soup can?
A: The Cornell Univesity football team uniform
A can of Campbell’s soup evokes the image of pop artist Andy Warhol and his iconic prints.
I recall the moment of Lily Tomlin’s The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe (a show I was fortunate enough to see twice – in Los Angeles and Chicago). In that show, Tomlin talks about showing extraterrestrial aliens a can of Campbell’s soup and Warhol’s painting.
“Soup, art, soup, art…” she says as she alternates showing the aliens both items. The aliens are confused as to the difference, but later, Tomlin brings the point home when she takes the aliens to a stage play. When Tomlin asks the aliens why they are watching the crowd of people instead of the play, they tell her they are fascinated over the fact that such a disparate group of people could come together, sit down, and all experience the same event at the same time. Such a group of people will never, ever again be in the same place at the same time.
The play, the aliens say, is soup, but the audience is art.
Recently, my boys and I had a conversation about art. I blew Christopher’s mind by showing him a picture of Warhol’s soup can print and told him that people pay big money for it. He had the idea that he could make a piece of artwork that only consisted of the footprints of his pet hamster, Nutmeg, after walking over puddles of paint.
Back to today and the art world is still waiting for Nutmeg Paws