With the new illy Art Collection - sustainArt 2, illy renews its commitment to supporting coffee-producing countries and emerging artists. The new illy Art Collection showcases the work of artists from coffee growing regions, who have interpreted the sensations, experience, and narratives associated with coffee.

These four emerging artists were selected during the illy sustainArt Open Call in 2014, and have been invited to interpret the iconic illy coffee cup. Their inspiration is drawn from the theme of Expo Milano 2015: “Feeding the planet, Energy for life.”

The works of Felipe Arturo, Ernesto Bautista, Wanja Kimani, and Marcelo Moscheta, collectively make up a unique, limited edition collection.


The Colombian artist’s work grew out of an experimental process in which coffee was used as if it were ink, taking a cup of espresso coffee and turning it into an instrument of graphic design. This graphic motif embodies the memory of Islamic art, Mediterranean mosaics, and pre-Colombian techniques. Felipe Arturo creates a work that retraces the fundamental steps in the history of coffee, while simultaneously describing the current link between the geography of its production and the coffee drinking experiences of millions of people all over the world.


Having always been interested in the personal and collective dynamics of individuals, Ernesto Bautista’s work captures the poetry of the daily coffee ritual through the image of an eclipse surrounded by a red tree. Such an experience, according to the artist, is caught between transcendence and routine, because “when we have a cup of coffee, we not only undergo an experience of reminiscing and pausing to catch our breath, but we also take the time to reflect on where we are…”



Wanja Kimani is a writer and artist. Her work investigates the notion of the home and displacement, memories and imagination. A thread runs through each button on the coffee cup and ends up lying on the saucer, along with the needle. The link between these two surfaces, the coffee cup and the saucer, reflects the affinity that may be triggered and shared by people who undertake the simple, shared act of drinking coffee. The colors are from the flag of Ethiopia, a nation with a long history of producing and consuming some of the world’s most fragrant coffees.


The Brazilian artist, Moscheta, creates a Fotocromaticos project based on a drawing by Carl Linnaeus, one of the first men to classify botanical species in accordance with scientific guidelines, and the inventor of modern-day scientific nomenclature. Combining an antique drawing of a coffee plant and the modern Pantone color classification system, he depicts the act of drinking a coffee into an experience is simultaneously visual and chromatic.