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 new illy Art Collection was born from the collaboration with the photographer and instant artist Maurizio Galimberti and is a condensation of all the themes and obsessions dear to his poetics. Galimberti’s work has always focused on Polaroid, a means that creates authentic images which record the imperfections of reality, inviting the viewer in to its own dimension. His inspiration is also born from his engagement with a broad cultural framework: the dynamism of Futurism - in particular the work of Umberto Boccioni and Marcel Duchamp. Music too, with its peculiar capacity to dilate time, is the main inspiration of the innovative photo-mosaic technique, used to depict his renowned portraits and landscapes.
The subjects of this collection – Trieste, Venice, Rome, Pisa, Florence and Milan – are tied to this fundamental inspiration and express an intimate passion for the cities and their architecture. This is the personal account of wandering through urban landscapes.
The collection celebrates the daily ritual of coffee, an authentic emblem of Italy just as the cities that animate these cups.