January 29, 2012

Francesco Clemente Coffee Cups

illy Art Collection by Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente illy Collection Francesco Clemente Art Francesco Clemente Art Francesco Clemente Art Francesco Clemente Art Francesco Clemente Art Francesco Clemente illy Collection

What happened to the coffee cup?

One of my sweetest memories of being young was sitting beside my grandparents while they sipped Folgers in their ceramic coffee mugs. Whenever I spent the night at their Floridian house I would wake up to the sound of the percolator and the curious smell of coffee.

I would venture into the kitchen where my grandparents would be reading the newspaper and we’d talk about what we were going to do that afternoon (hunt for sharks’ teeth!). Occasionally I’d take a little sip out of their cup and wonder how anyone could like that bitter substance. Coffee was sweetened with sugar back in those days, and diluted with cream. This was before Splenda and soy.

Fast forward to years later. I’ve somehow acquired the grown-up taste for coffee and drink it twice a day but, ironically, my kitchen is bare of coffee cups and saucers. I do it Mary-Kate Olsen-style: I run from meeting to meeting with a paper cup and never take the time to sit down and properly enjoy my coffee.

I’m about to change all that because I’ve fallen in love.

As soon as I stumbled upon Francesco Clemente’s beautiful coffee cups for illy I fell for them. I adore anything for the home that’s limited edition. (Just like you don’t want to show up at a party in the same dress as your neighbor, so you don’t want to have identical houses … “Stepford Wife” is so not cool.) In addition, it’s always great when you can find a piece for the home that qualifies as art.

Francesco Clemente’s limited edition coffee cups and saucers fit both criteria. The signed cappuccino and espresso collections (prices are $150 and $175 for six) reflect Clemente's style. They’re colorful, bold, quirky, abstract, figurative, and surrealist all at the same time – a much more glamorous and sophisticated alternative to running down the street with a Venti Starbucks cup. In addition, the line can double as décor. I love the idea of the cups on a shelf in your dining room or kitchen. Hang the cups on their side and lay the saucers above for everyone to show off your good taste. They're also the perfect way to give art as a gift for home.

So now we've one-upped MK Olsen on her coffee-cup style. Alas, I fear trumping the fashion icon's clothing choices may not be so easy.


And To Learn More About Clemente ...


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