The illy Art Collections: A Creative Chandelier at Beirut Design Fair

The illy white iconic cup designed by Matteo for illycaffè in 1991 has long become a “porcelain canvas”. Through the years some of the well-known international contemporary artists, as well as a number of emerging young talents, have contributed to transform the white iconic cup into pieces of art. During Beirut Design Fair, which opens September 20, a special installation – a chandelier – The illy Art Collections are the series of cups that illycaffè.

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Over the 25 years of illy Art Collection artists such as Marina Abramović, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren interpreted the cup, that become an iconic, vast series of artistic objects for everyday use, contributing to making the original illy espresso cup an immediately-recognizable symbol of high-quality, lovable art.

The illy Art Collections are the series of cups that illycaffè has been issuing since 1992 in cooperation with the representatives of the most important international art community. The concept behind the project of the illy Art Collection – that is traveling all over the world in the rings of the iconic chandelier – is to combine the sensorial pleasure of a perfect espresso with the aesthetics of a work of art.

illycaffè believes the consumption of coffee has a dual effect, both physiological and aesthetic. If the morning cup is a source of strength and a means of reviving us, during the day coffee is a facilitator of dialogue and social interaction, a stimulus for the intellect and the senses. And it is the sensory and aesthetic aspects of this beverage that explain why coffee and culture have shared an inseparable bond that has lasted for centuries.

With the illy Art Collections, the Trieste based company has pursued this philosophy to the point of physically creating an object able to encapsulate and reinterpret the coffee culture. When you enjoy an illy espresso coffee in an artist-designed cup, you combine in a single gesture the aroma and taste of the blend with a complete aesthetic experience – both visual and tactile – of contact with modern art.

Over the years, the company has taken an active role in promoting contemporary and experimental art, supporting important international and promoting emerging young talents in the world of art and contemporary design.

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