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Gary Indiana Puts the Lit-Lid on Warhol’s Can

Unveiled at Andy Warhol’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in 1962, the artist’s now legendary Campbell’s soup can paintings shocked the art world and kick-started the Pop Art movement in America. Nearly 50 years later they’re not only more iconic and influential than ever, but worth many millions. In his new book Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World (Basic Books, $22), novelist and former Village Voice art critic Gary Indiana charts the aesthetic revolution caused by the cans and traces the influences leading up to them, from Norman Mailer and Orson Wells all the way back to the Italian Renaissance. The perfect spot to peruse the book? The pool at the Thompson Lower East Side, where a portrait of Warhol gazes up from the blue-hued depths — a voyeuristic vantage point the be-wigged artist would have found endlessly entertaining.

– Jared Paul Stern