Photo: Mykl Roventine, Flickr
Historically, coffee and art seem to be as linked as paint and paintbrushes. Controversial French writer Voltaire reportedly downed upwards of 50 cups of the stuff daily to get his creative juices flowing; the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro thought his brewer was worthy of its own canvas; and even Bob Dylan has pleaded, in song, for "One More Cup of Coffee."
But what about coffee as art? Some painters are using their morning brew to do more than wake up. Thailand-based artist Pornchai Lertammasiri, for instance, mixes coffee with water to create beautiful, ethereal landscapes. Costa Rican artist Saul Bolaños uses finely ground beans for his photo-realistic prints that are actually brewable. (While there's no accounting for taste, I'm betting these don't turn out as well in the cup as in the frame.) Another painter, Godfrey Caleb, actually turned his back on a day job in pursuit of coffee as art and expression.
My favorite caffeinated works are the meticulous, incredible pieces by artist (and former barista) Karen Eland, who reproduces fine-art masterpieces with the very thing she used to sling: espresso. Each of the familiar images is also subtly tweaked to include a cup of joe -- of course Van Gogh would take his morning jolt black.
All of this sure would've made that 8 a.m. art-appreciation class easier to enjoy, huh?
Erin Meister trains baristas for North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee and sporadically maintains the blog Meet the Press Pot from her home in New York City. This is part of a series for the caffeine-addicted.