What do Bass Pale Ale, Campbell’s Soup, and My Little Pony have in common?
They’re ALL works of fine art…which could bear some explaining.
In 1882, Edouard Manet foreshadowed the twentieth century product placement era within the arts through his “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” painting.
Manet deliberately depicted the beer in his painting as Bass Pale Ale (indicated by the red triangle on the labels) in order to cater to the tastes of the British and expand his clientele.
Even though Manet was ahead of his time, artists of the late 1900′s founded the pop art movement, which contained works that incorporated many elements of pop culture products.
And for those that love Campbell’s Soup enough to buy a large silkscreened print of the can on canvas, Andy Warhol’s your go-to guy.
Throughout Warhol’s career he created various renditions of Campbell’s Soup cans that became revolutionary staples of high art.
By depicting everyday products through an artistic lens, artists introduced advertising and appropriation into the art world, stirring controversy, conversation, and commentary.
Contemporary artist Julie Chang recently exhibited a show that featured works containing patterns of My Little Pony, striving to showcase cultural identity and commodification.
While Chang’s artwork utilizes a discrete form of product placement, artists like Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Wayne Thiebaud have relied on products as the core subject matter of their artwork.
We think filmmaker Morgan Spurlock may have something to add about the art of product placement…
- Ava Cotlowitz