Since its inception in 1992, the illy Art collection has collaborated with hundreds of leading contemporary artists, including top art world luminaries such as Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Je‑ Koons, Julian Schnabel, Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren, James Rosenquist. Each has lent their creativity and singular imprint onto illy’s cups, creating a rich cadre of collectible table top objects. The espresso cup itself, designed by architect Matteo Thun in 1991, is by now ubiquitous throughout Italy and the rest of the world, an immediately symbol of high-quality and passionate attention. illy Art Collection: small works of art, taking ceramic cup as medium, transforming the simple pleasure of drinking an espresso into an experience that fully engages the senses and the mind.
“The work of an artist can go off in as many directions as there are hairs on your head. It goes wherever it wants to” says Kiki Smith, inviting you to give in to the daytime and night-time fascination of unique, tiny, and immense worlds, made of flowers, butterflies, birds, stars, suns, moons, woven together in a light-hearted story, in the manner of Europe’s typical decorative arts, such as the floral paintings on ceramics that the artist has reprised. The unique worlds of these coffee cups come together on the metal surface of the designer coffee can. Bring these unique worlds together or savor them one by one as the fancy takes you, to be part of this LIVE HAPPilly story.