Dennis Hopper. Coca Cola Sign, 1962. Found object, tin sign with glass thermometers, 24 x 36 x 3 in.
In 1962, Hopper was introduced to pop artist Andy Warhol, who traveled to Los Angeles for an exhibition at Ferus Gallery. Hopper collected one of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can paintings and was later included in his film Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort Of (1963). Influenced by Warhol, Hopper began to look to commercial images, billboards, and reproductions as sources for works such as Coca-Cola Sign (Found Object) (1962). In 1963, the Pasadena Art Museum mounted a retrospective of the work of Marcel Duchamp that greatly influenced Hopper. Duchamp’s work broadened Hopper’s understanding of art, leading him to embrace the idea that an artist could identify manmade objects in the world and name them as artworks (Duchamp called them “readymades”). This idea is at play in works such as Mobil Man and La Salsa Man, which Hopper made with existing molds after objects he saw in Los Angeles.