illy has been a partner with the Venice Biennale for the last ten editions, now we celebrate this collaboration with a collection of cups decorated by four artists selected by Ralph Rugoff, curator of the 58th exhibition. Cameron Jamie, AD Minoliti, Slavs & Tatars and Ulrike Müller bring their creativity to express a passion for goodness, beauty and for coffee.
1. Often, objects destined for different functions or with different aesthetics end up mingling together, generating surprising effects. We see this in Ulrike Müller’s plates, which are often found at flea markets and grouped together, even though they are from different collections. This is how the decoration for the new cup was created, combining digital and hand-drawn elements to destroy the myths of heroic painting.
2. AD Minoliti plays with forms and colors, inspired by the work of the Memphis group and their playful use of geometry. The designs that decorate her cup are simple, and invite us to imagine different characters and stories each time, depending on the point of view of the observer. This might start from a cat or a monster, which are both key elements in the artist’s work. The important thing is to do it with joy and a sense of fun, each one us creating our own imaginary composition, a puzzle that brings a touch of color to enjoying a cup of coffee.
3. Taking note of the details that make your days rich in meaning: this is what Cameron Jamie does. He rediscovers the pleasure of reading through his notebooks while sipping a coffee, in a moment where all the elements bind together and seem to assume a new, creative sense. There is indeed an invisible thread that unites the words and drawings, showing us the beauty of the simplest things, like a flower, for example: a small element that brightens up our daily lives.
4. For the illy Art Collection, Slavs and Tatars present The Dark One, a homage to the geographic origins of coffee through a phonetic game. Three letters from three different alphabets almost magically reproduce the same guttural sound: “qaf”, the first letter of the original word for coffee in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula.. The Arabicق,, Hebrewק e, Cyrillic Қ alternate to celebrate language and sensuality in a design that brings together geopolitics, food, and artistic performance, giving a simple cup a unique meaning.