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illycaffè Taps Ai Weiwei for Art-Inspired Coffee Cup Collaboration

A nod to the creative’s 2006 work ‘Colored Vases.’

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illycaffè Taps Ai Weiwei for Art-Inspired Coffee Cup Collaboration

A nod to the creative’s 2006 work ‘Colored Vases.’

Fusing coffee with art, Italian brand illycaffè has now enlisted artist Ai Weiwei for a series of cups. The collaboration arrives as part of the company’s “Art Collection,” which has featured names like Olimpia Zagnoli and Yoko Ono in the past.

Comprised of espresso and cappuccino cups, the designs take inspiration from Ai’s Colored Vases – a series of Neolithic vases covered in industrial paint. Taking the same concept of destruction, the creative has added his unique touch to ordinary objects. Each piece is splashed with gold, black, orange and green hues on the rim.

“I am very happy to be a part of illy’s ‘Art Collection.’ I think it is very important to give power to art and design while drinking good coffee because it affects everybody’s life,” Ai commented in a press release. “The project with Ai Weiwei is an exceptional event,” illycaffè’s CEO Massimiliano Pogliani added. “From a great personality, that has had a huge impact on culture in recent years, speaking out about the complexity of contemporary society, we get an optical illusion, a hidden beauty which becomes manifest if we learn to see without the misconception of using one single perspective only.” He further expressed that the partnership is all about “art providing an insight through beauty.”

Peep the collection via the gallery above. Priced from £42.49 GBP to £94.99 GBP (approximately $60 USD to $134 USD), the Ai Weiwei-designed cups will be available soon via illycaffè’s stores.

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