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 illy sustainArt project promotes contemporary art and the collaboration between art curators and artists from emerging and developing countries. Four artists have been selected for a second special edition of the famous cups of the illy Art Collection: Felipe Arturo (Colombia), Ernesto Bautista (El Salvador), Wanja Kimani (Kenia) and Marcelo Moscheta (Brazil). The aim is to highlight the central theme of Expo Milano 2015: Feeding the planet, Energy for life. As official partner of Expo Milano 2015, this is a chance for illy to make a poetic, sensitive and thoughtful contribution to the international pavilion dedicated to coffee. Each kit contains 4 espresso cups (numbered and signed) with saucers and 4 cappuccino cups (numbered and signed) with saucers, together with a brochure that explains how the four artists’ native lands are reflected in their work.