The Wonderful Art of Cultural Icons

The mystery of why some pieces of art become class icons

The Wonderful Art of Cultural Icons

In the 1960’s, an artist painted a can of soup and it was a successful art piece. Many people have long wondered why it was so successful. The artist understood his culture, and he painted something everyone had experienced. It drew people together through their familiarity with both the soup and the company that produced it. It took several generations of people, from many parts of a country and gave them a way to define their lives as a group. People of all ages, races, creeds and backgrounds ate this soup on a regular basis. It was part of their shared culture and had unknowingly become an icon to represent this sharing. Adding it to the world of art helped with this recognition.

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The Transitory Nature of Icons

The Transitory Nature of Icons

The sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen is an icon

Cultural icons define a group of people in a small time frame. They tell the story of a people during one part of their lives through group awareness and traditions. Few of these icons last for more than a century. Artists who specialize in producing these types of art rarely get recognition more than a few years after they retire. There are a few artists whose works last much longer.