The foam, the crema, the aroma and taste – all create a sensory experience that define the art, beauty and savor found in a cup of well-made espresso. The art and craft of espresso took on a new meaning in 1992 when Illy first began to think about the idea that art can enter the lives of people through a small object of daily use, in this case a coffee cup. Working with leading contemporary artists, Illy commissioned a series of collector’s cups (now there are more than 70 in the series) and later coffee cans decorated with limited-edition works of art.
The latest Illy can features German born artist, Kiki Smith. Living and working in New York City, Smith is known for combining feminism with magical elements and evocative storytelling . The 250g Illy coffee can she designed is a poetic expression of flowers, butterflies, suns and moons “the natural charms of day and night”. Like all of Illy’s art designed cans, avid collectors find any number of ways to re-purpose (flower vase, pencil holder) these iconic works of art. I especially like the idea of using the latest can design for making a tin can lantern to create a perfect glow on a magical summertime evening.