'Hamburger' by Andy Warhol (1985-1986) in high resolution


A duality of values is often reflected in American culture. For example, Americans value both the history of being pioneers in a new world—of being autonomous—while they also value being able to buy exactly the same things and have the same lifestyle as their neighbors. Individualism and conformity easily coexist. Advertisements present these divergent ideas, often within the same magazine or television time slot. Size is another concept with dual messages in American contemporary culture. The idea that “bigger is better” is validated by the sales of SUVs, super-sized soft drinks, and bulk food at Wal-Mart. In reverse, small-sized models sell the benefits of diet programs and fitness regimes designed to scale back people’s proportions. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol and other Pop artists illuminated such cultural trends through art and art making processes.