Coffee is a beverage that has been around a long time, and one that takes many forms. Making a really good cup of coffee is both a skill and an art form; in fact the way in which some types – such as the latte – are made and presented has been directly elevated to an art form complete with world championships (thanks largely to the work of David Schomer and the baristas at Espresso Vivace in Seattle, Washington State in the case of the latte).
As a coffee lover, I genuinely appreciate the skill and care that goes into making a really good cup of coffee; as someone who appreciates artistic expression, I also admire the beauty and expression that goes into creating the perfect piece of latte art – so much so that since purchasing a fabulous Sage duel boiler expresso maker, I’ve been attempting to learn latte art for myself!
Someone else who has opted to use her love of coffee as a means for artistic expression is Mara Telling, and we can witness this at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner Gallery III, where she presents a collection of specially-produced images under the title Coffee. In all, thirteen images are offered – three of them forming a trilogy – which all present a fun examination of the coffee lover’s relationship with their beverage of choice.
Each of the ten individual pieces might be seen as something of a eye-wink metaphor: the velveteen touch of a really well made mocha in which the wine-like accent of the bean has been retained without any over-egging of its natural acidity such that its taste is like that of a lover’s kiss; the idea that we can feel safe and at home as much with a cup of good coffee as we can in the room stuffed with furnishings; that the comfort of a perfect latte can be as relaxing (or invigorating, depending on one’s mood!) as a visit to the spa, and so on.
Nor are they overly reverential; Coffee Ride joyously celebrates the wild kick of caffeine that can mean so much, while Coffee Break reflects of the coffee drinker’s almost voyeuristic indulgence of people watching while sipping an innocent cup or mug; whilst Haute Coffture pokes fun at the serious coffee drinkers almost snobbish approach to appreciating the beverage. Thus, within all ten pieces lies something anyone who enjoys coffee will both recognise and have cause to smile about.
And nor is the art of making coffee forgotten, celebrated as it is through Coffee Trilogy, focused on a marvellous gacha set previously offered by Andraus Thor. With a hand bean grinder, moka pots and a traditional Turkish coffee maker (among other items), the set brings the full richness and delight of “traditional” coffee brewing (and skill) to Second Life.
Rounded-out by an interactive coffee bar – grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit and people-watch others as they come and go within the gallery or take a ride on the giant cup of coffee as it turns slowly (and perhaps capture yourself on camera) – Coffee is a display of art than is both fun to witness, and which also speaks to Mara’s talent as a self-taught photographic artist; one who fully understands the use of colour, light, framing and cropping, and the need for subtlety in their use to produce pictures that are instantly pleasing to the eye.
- Art Korner Gallery III (Deju, rated Moderate)