For Warhol, a commercial illustrator who became a successful author, painter, and film director, the work was his first one-man gallery exhibition as a fine artist. First exhibited in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles, it marked the West Coast debut of pop art. The combination of the semi-mechanized process, the non-painterly style, and the commercial subject initially caused offense, as the work's blatantly mundane commercialism represented a direct affront to the technique and philosophy of abstract expressionism. The abstract expressionism art movement was dominant during the post-war period, and it held not only to "fine art" values and aesthetics but also to a mystical inclination. This controversy led to a great deal of debate about the merits and ethics of such work. Warhol's motives as an artist were questioned, and they continue to be topical to this day. The public commotion helped transform Warhol from being an accomplished 1950s commercial illustrator to a notable fine artist, and it helped distinguish him from other rising pop artists. Although commercial demand for his paintings was not immediate, Warhol's association with the subject led to his name becoming synonymous with the Campbell's Soup can paintings.
Warhol subsequently produced a wide variety of art works depicting Campbell's Soup cans during three distinct phases of his career, and he produced other works using a variety of images from the world of commerce and mass media. Today, the Campbell's Soup cans theme is generally used in reference to the original set of paintings as well as the later Warhol drawings and paintings depicting Campbell's Soup cans. As a result of the eventual popularity of the entire series of similarly themed works, Warhol's reputation grew to the point where he was not only the most-renowned American pop art artist, but also the highest-priced living American artist.
1 Early career
1.1 New York art scene
1.2 Pop art
2 The premiere
 Early career
 New York art scene
Warhol arrived in New York City in 1949, directly from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He quickly achieved success as a commercial illustrator, and his first published drawing appeared in the Summer 1949 issue of Glamour Magazine. In 1952, he had his first art gallery show at the Bodley Gallery with a display of Truman Capote-inspired works. By 1955, he was tracing photographs borrowed from the New York Public Library's photo collection with the hired assistance of Nathan Gluck, and reproducing them with a process he had developed earlier as a collegian at Carnegie Tech. His process, which foreshadowed his later work, involved pressing wet ink illustrations against adjoining paper. During the 50s, he had regular showings of his drawings. He even exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (Recent Drawings, 1956).
 Pop art
Campbell's Tomato Juice Box, 1964. Example of Warhol's first exhibit with Costelli. Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato), 1962. Stencils such as this are the basis for silkscreening. In 1960, Warhol began producing his first canvases, which he based on comic strip subjects. In late 1961, he learned the process of silkscreening from Floriano Vecchi, who had run the Tiber Press since 1953....