illy has been blending art and coffee for decades, and one of the most striking results of such a mix is its illy Art Collection, which now includes a plethora of state-of-the art coffee cup sets and cans created by the greatest international artists of our time as well as by aspiring talents. The range, which includes over 70 series of coffee cups by Jeff Koons, Francsis Fod Coppola, Jan Fabre and Tobias Rehberger to name but a few, now welcomes the cups with blastful designs created by Neapolitan artist Francesco Clemente, who now lives in the USA, and a the second can of 2011, designed by Alioum Moussa, who is an eclectic and multidisciplinary artist from Cameroon.
Photo: www.illy.com, Francesco Clemente’s cup for illy Art Collection
The new cups by Clemente represent his passion and unique visual style, which roots in his attitude to life and a hobby to explore the world and new cultures. The brand describes his art as “a spontaneous moment that disrupts a rule,” since each of the pieces he creates has a surprising ‘explosive’ element, and he didn’t break this rule working on a new set for illy. The cups by the artist feature colorful water colour blasts, and the saucers got red letters in the middle, which reminds us that coffee hours is a great time to communicate. “… The Neapolitan artist’s nomadism can be encountered in the stylistic fusion he achieves between representation and abstraction, between the full and the empty, between decoration and narration, between the East and the West. His colours take on a tonality between the mind and the natural. This also happens when Clemente encounters ceramics to decorate the Illy collection cups and saucers, where he confirms his intention of creating a serial iconography through the presence of printed letters that are part of the same alphabet (his language) but also underline the difference in each product,” says illy. The sets of 6 collectible cups, individually signed and numbered, can be purchased for $175.00 (cappuccino) and $150.00 (espresso) from here.
Photo: Flickr photostream of illycaffè, Francesco Clemente’s cup for illy Art Collection
The next addition to the illy Art Collection, which includes cans since 2006, is a coffee canister designed by Alioum Moussa. The limited-edition coffee-cans are unveiled twice a year, and the new piece follows the magnificent creation by Michelangelo Pistoletto’s ‘Energie Love Difference’ work, which symbolizes the connections between nations in the world. In fact, the ‘All Create Together’ can by the Cameroonian artist, who joined illysustainArt.org community in the end of 2010, was inspired by his experience at Cittadellarte—Pistoletto Foundation in Biella (Italy, Piedmont region): he also created a can, which comes as tribute to two worlds, Africa and Europe, and in some way unites them. The brand says that the new art piece “represents the contrast between Cameroon, the home of the artist, and Piedmont: the result is an energetic, lively décor, with warm colors typical of Africa blended with colder colors, representing the European continent.” On its website, illy says that the can will be available starting October, but so far this item is not on sale (but they still have 5 days to put in on self).
Photo: Flickr photostream of illycaffè, Alioum Moussa’s can ‘All Create Together’