Why did Andy Warhol paint a soup can?

Did you know that the painting of a can of soup is considered to be one of the world's greatest masterpieces?

Artist Andy Warhol drew Campbell's Soup Cans between November 1961 and March or April 1962. The works were exhibited on July 9, 1962 in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles, California. When they were first displayed, the 32 canvases, each consisting of a painting of a different flavour of Campbell's Soup, met with a lot of ridicule for their ordinary subject matter. In fact, a neighbouring gallery even put actual soup cans on its window and advertised them as cheaper than Warhol's works (the cans cost only 29 cents). What did these rows upon rows of identical soup cans actually mean?

Well, though the paintings portrayed everyday, seemingly ordinary objects, they carried a deeper meaning. First, they were a commentary on how mass production and consumerism had come to dominate American life and culture.

Silkscreen painting

Second, just like the mass production of the soup cans. Warhol mass produced the paintings, using the silkscreen printing process that allowed him to create multiple versions of a single work.

He traced the images of a soup can onto his blank canvas, and then carefully filled each can using old fashioned brushes and paint. But each painting had a slight imperfection-a smudge, misprint or a slightly skewed label.

This also served as a contradiction to the Pop art culture. Pop artists usually tried to erase all traces of individuality from their work so that it looks almost identical. Although Warhol's soup cans were supposed to look like they'd been made mechanically, every painting had a slight difference. The paintings caused a sensation throughout the art world.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • When the public finally warmed up to Warhol's soup cans the art began to appear everywhere Warhol himself designed paper dresses in soup can print for New York socialites. Later, the Campbell company too joined in the fun. They came out with the Souper Dress covered in Warhol-esque soup labels.
  • In May 1969, Warhol appeared on the cover of the Esquire magazine drowning in a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup.
  • In 1996, The Museum of Modern Art in New York bought the 32 paintings from Irving Blum (who had purchased them from Warhol only for $1.000) for more than $15 million. Even the Souper Dress has been declared a classic.

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What the art of Paper Folding is called?


Paper Folding



Have you ever made a paper aeroplane? If you have, you have enjoyed the most recent and popular addition to the old craft of paper folding. This craft is called origami.



Originally, the Japanese invented about 100 origami figures. Most are natural forms, such as birds, frogs, and fish. One form of origami, with shapes all its own, is called noshi. These are pleated paper decorations that Japanese people attach to gifts. The Japanese like to use squares of paper for making origami figures. The squares range from 15 to 25 centimetres in size. They also use a special paper called washi.



Papermaking families in Japan still make washi by hand. To make washi, they first mix a glue-like liquid with bark, cotton, linen, or tree fibres and stir the mixture into a mush called pulp.



Next, they dip a special screen into the pulp and drain out most of the liquid. Then, they place the wet sheets on a flat surface to dry. The Japanese use the washi for umbrellas, kites, and origami.



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What are the best-selling stories of Roald Dahl for young readers?



Roald Dahl (September 13 1976 to November 23, 1990) was a British author of children’s books. Born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He became an ace aviator and intelligence officer. He grew to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for both children and adults. In 1953, he published the best-selling story collection “Someone Like You” and went on to publish the popular book “James and the Giant Peach” in 1961. In 1964, he released another highly successful work, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, which was later adapted to film twice. A few of Dahl’s most popular works include:



James and the Giant Peach (1961)



This is a book about a lonely little boy who lives with his two mean aunts. One day, James gets a bag of mysterious things from an old man. The crocodile tongues that the bag contains squirm into the ground and a giant peach grows. James notices a hole in the peach and crawls in to escape from his aunts. Once inside the peach, he meets a giant Old Green Grasshopper, a Ladybug, a Spider, a Centipede, and an Earthworm. They start out on an amazing adventure. The book won widespread critical and commercial acclaim.



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)



Three years after his first children’s book, Dahl published another big winner, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. An eccentric businessman, Willy Wonka runs a fantastical chocolate factory. Wonka hides five Golden Tickets inside his bars of chocolate. The finders are to be rewarded with a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Charlie Bucket’s adventure begins when he finds a ticket and wins a whole day inside the chocolate factory. But, he has not idea of the surprises that are in store for him! Some critics accused Dahl of portraying a racist stereotype with his Oompa-Loompa characters in the book, but that never deterred him from writing more.



Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970)



The main character is a clever fox that talks, his wife and four little foxes. In order to feed his family, he steals food from three cruel farmers, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, every night. The vexed farmers attempt to capture and kill him. How Mr. Fox outwits the farmers makes a delightful tale.



Over his decades-long writing career, Dahl wrote 19 children’s books. Despite their popularity, these books have been the subject of some controversy, as critics and parents have balked at their portrayal of children’s harsh revenge on adult wrongdoers. But that has not stopped children across the world from devouring his books with glee!



 



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How they make clothes to fit almost everyone?



The traditional tailor can take account of long arms or a spreading waistline and achieve a perfect fit. But made-to-measure clothes get more expensive every year, and the modern clothing industry has to make off-the-peg clothes that fit most people with no alteration.



One of the first proper surveys into people’s measurements was carried out by US Government, who measured 1000 recruits during the First World War to determine the best sizes for uniforms.



In Britain, 5000 women were measured in the early 1950s, with some unexpected results. Existing size charts were based on an average height for women of 5ft 6in (168cm) – but the survey found that the real average was 5ft 3in (160cm).



Today, in large companies, from a basic pattern produced by a designer, a computer produces a range of sizes to cover the normal variations of the population. Unusually small or large people complain that they can never find anything to fit them, and they are right; it does not make economic sense for manufacturers to produce the limited number of garments that would be sold.



The next step is to use the patterns to cut out the material for the garment. Rolls of material, which can be more than 100ft (30m) long, are laid out perfectly flat by machine. Hundreds of layers are spread on top of one another so that a large number of garments can be cut out at once. Computers are used to arrange the patterns on the material so that the minimum of cloth is wasted. A paper computer printout, called a marker, is laid on the layers of fabric ready for cutting.



The actual cutting of the material is done by knives guided from above, or in some modern factories, by laser beams controlled by computers. The laser, an intense beam of light, burns a clean cut through the material, far sharper than the cut of any knife.



Next, the pieces of material have to be sewn together. Many operations, such as buttonholing, can be done automatically. A hand-sewer averages 20 stitches a minute; modern machinery can sew up to 7000 stitches a minute. Some clothes are not stitched in the traditional way at all, but fused together.



Finally clothes are pressed, to mould them into the right shape and to make sharp creases or pleats. Special presses, called buck presses, are designed for each part of a garment.



 



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How to put the patterns into clothes?



The Chinese have been exchanging gifts of richly patterned fabrics for thousands of years. At about the time of Christ’s birth the wife of a Chinese nobleman, Ho Kuang, gave another, Shunyu yen, ‘twenty-four rolls of a silk brocade with a grape design, and twenty-five rolls of thin silk design, and twenty-five rolls of thin silk woven with a pattern of scattered flowers.’



The Chinese mastered the art of weaving, using silk threads of many colours and complex weaves to produce brocades and tapestries. With primitive looms, weaving patterns into cloth was a job that needed a great deal of skill and patience.



Even with the inventions of the 18th century, a weaver had to know which of the warp threads (running down the length of the loom) to lift and which to leave to make a pattern. Only the threads that were lifted would be woven into the design when the shuttle carrying the weft (the threads running across the loom) was ‘thrown’ across the loom.



It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that a French silk weaver, Joseph Jacquard, found a way to make detailed patterns without skilled weavers. A chain of cards punched with holes was attached to a rotating block above the loom. Only where there were holes could threads be picked up by small hooks and become woven into the pattern. After each card had been used to make a small part of a pattern, the block was given a quarter-turn, bringing the next card into place.



It took 24,000 cards to weave a silk portrait of Jacquard, so accurate that it could hardly be distinguished from a portrait in oils. The cards were tied together in a long strip which slowly passed over the loom. Jacquard looms are still used to make luxury fabrics.



Many patterned fabrics can be woven on simpler machines. The timeless patterns of tweed are still woven on hand looms.



The direct printing of patterns onto woven fabrics originated in India, and the first printed calicos were brought to Europe in the 16th century. From the Hindi word ‘tchint’ comes ‘chintz’, which we still use to describe printed fabrics that are glazed to give them a slight sheen.



Modern textile printing uses metal rollers on which the design is engraved, with each colour applied by a different roller. The rollers pass through a colour trough as they rotate and then transfer the dye to the fabric. As many as 16 rollers may be used to produce a fabric.



Electronic control ensures that each successive roller matches its patterns perfectly with the one before. As the fabric comes off the final roller it passes through an oven where it is dried. Modern machines can print in 16 colours at speeds of 200yds (180m) of fabric a minute.



 



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