LONDON, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — illycaffè presents the new illy Art Collection and, for the first time, matching decorated cans signed by Mona Hatoum. With an artistic background spanning four decades, visual artist Mona Hatoum is internationally recognised for her poetic and political oeuvre, which is realised in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installation, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper. Hatoum first became widely known in the mid-1980s for a series of performances and video works that focus intensely on the body. Since the early 1990s her work has shifted towards large-scale installations and sculptures that aim to engage the viewer in conflicting emotions of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination. Since then, she continues to develop a language in which familiar, domestic everyday objects are often transformed into foreign, surreal or threatening things.
The distinctive pattern of the keffiyeh, the traditional Arab headscarf, which has become associated with the Palestinian cause, has been a recurring motif in Hatoum’s oeuvre. From embroidering its pattern on fabric using long strands of human hair, to morphing its grid pattern into a chain link fence in several of her diverse works on paper, the keffiyeh appears in various examples of her work. For the illy Art Collection and the iconic aluminum decorated cans, Hatoum has used an abstraction of the fishnet grid and olive leaf pattern of the Arab scarf long associated with histories of labour and human interconnectedness, giving it a new twist that allows it to assume a new life as a 100% Arabica coffee cup.
«illy coffee being a 100% Arabica blend, made me wonder what could be considered a 100% Arab object or symbol. The Keffiyeh came to mind as I have often referred to it in my work, either directly or indirectly. The fishnet pattern with knots is often seen as the joining of hands and therefore symbolizes the connection between people and the olive leaf pattern along the border, could be seen to stand for peace. So, this is not just a beautiful abstract pattern, it also has interesting symbolic meaning. And, of course, the Keffiyeh has become a potent symbol of the Palestinian cause.» – says Mona Hatoum.
«Mona Hatoum is a sophisticated and thoughtful artist who has successfully dared to create a very authentic interpretation of the illy Art Collection project – explains Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè – Through her characteristic geometric style, Hatoum has represented the social function of coffee, an elixir that has transformed the coffee break into a ritual able to connect the world».
The illy Art Collection signed by Mona Hatoum will be unveiled at Frieze London, Fiac Paris, Artissima Tourin and on the illy website in the illy.com/monahatoum section.
The limited editions collections of decorated cans will be available from November 2021 while cups will be available from December 2021 in different formats:
6 espresso cups (red, black and silver decorations) from £115
6 cappuccino cups (red, black and silver decorations) from £141
2 espresso cups (red and black decorations) from £43
2 cappuccino cups (red and black decorations) from £52
The illy Art Collection and the limited edition 250g can of the iconic 100% ground Arabica illy blend, available in both Classic and Intense roasts, will be available via the illy e-shop, stores (illy Caffè and illy Shop), large-scale retail channels, and indirect e-commerce channels.