Warhol's Originality

210 Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962

Like the problems of personality which have intrigued critics for years, the issue of Warhol's artistic legitimacy has also been the basis of ongoing debate.  The subjects of some of his most famous works—the soup cans, Coke bottles, dollar bills, flowers, and cows—were apparently recommendations.

That Warhol borrowed his images from others, from photographs, advertisements, and food labels and developed a technique by which they were serially mass-produced by anonymous Factory hands remains one of the most contentious issues in the criticism.

By erasing himself from his creations, minimizing the artist's responsibility, the significance of talent, and the value of originality, Warhol challenged presumptions about what art is supposed to be and how one is to experience it.  This abnegation of responsibility was deemed unethical, if not subversive, by the critical audience, further fueling the controversy about whether or not his work should even be regarded as art.

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