Posted in Kafevend Blog

The art of coffee


How many of you remember the news back in August of Banksy's latest venture? Set in a derelict lido on Weston-super-Mare seafront, the world renowned street artist, who prefers to remain incognito, created what he referred to as a bemusement park named Dismaland. The collected works of some fifty artists were put together to form this dystopian vision of the world. A member of the Kafevend blog team went along, before it closed its doors for the last time on Sunday, to search for anything connected to hot drinks that might inspire a blog. This is the result...

Professional Coffee Art

Not many steps away from an interesting piece of work by Damien Hirst- namely a blow up beach ball hovering on a column of air above a bed of knives- hung a collection of photographs featuring the work of Minneapolis based artist Brock Davis. Davis' speciality is transforming everyday objects into something rather more eye catching and humorous. One of the mundane items he had chosen to use was none other than a paper coffee cup! Complete with plastic lid and cardboard sleeve, and entitled 'Exhibitionist Coffee Cup', the cup had been transformed into a cheeky cartoon character; its cardboard sleeve cut open to act as a coat which the character is holding open, thus revealing its spotty underpants! The plastic lid remains in situ as a cap! Perhaps we could all have a go at creating our own character the next time we find ourselves with an empty coffee cup and a little time on our hands? 


Davis isn't the only one to notice the inherent creative potential of a standard paper coffee cup, however, so read on if you require alternative inspiration. Artist and designer Rob Draper has used his cups as a canvas for coffee-themed typographic art. His A-Z series of coffee culture, which begins with 'A is for Americano', features incredibly detailed hand drawn lettering. The driving force behind his project was the idea of creating something beautiful out of something so disposable.

Everyday Coffee Art

Coffee cup art isn't limited to those pursuing art and design as a day job either. While Starbucks baristas are well known for jotting their customer's name on the cup so they can match people to their orders more easily, French barista, Gabriel Nkweti Lafitte, began creating personalised paper coffee cups for regular customers at his branch of Starbucks in London. Gabriel incorporates each person's name into an individual and intricate design. Googling his unusual name will give you instant access to the talented barista's stunning work. 


Talking of Starbucks, the company decided to harvest its customers' artistic talents last year with a 'White Cup Contest'. Members of the public had to decorate and photograph their empty Starbucks coffee cup, then enter the competition via social media. This year they held a similar event for their employees. So far the contests have been run only in the USA and Canada, but if this blog has sown an idea for coffee cup art in your mind, be it simple and quirky, or complex and arty, we'd love to see it!

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