Friday, February 05, 2016

In the Rings of Coffee

From the radio program Studio 360 comes an entirely visual story that demonstrates the degree to which coffee has captured my imagination -- and that of my friends. When people who know me find any kind of story related to coffee, they send it my way, thinking I will probably be interested. And they are almost always right. (See my main coffee page for some idea of the breadth involved, or search the word coffee on this blog.)

This particular example is about the British-Italian artist Carolina Maggio, and her fascinating ability to find artistic inspiration in coffee rings. Possessed of an extraordinary ability -- known as pareidolia -- to find patterns where others see randomness, she creates a wide variety of beautiful and even powerful works from the residue of spilled coffee.
The Annunciation, by Carolina Maggio
I am reminded of the work of Anká, an artist I met during my first visit to the Amazon. As we worked our way upstream to his rainforest redoubt, he kept pointing to the trees and naming famous historic figures, as though I should be able to see them in the trees. like Maggio, he could make these visions come alive for others, as in the woman greeting the dawn in this painting that hangs in our home -- probably our first "real" art purchase.
Read the Anká  story on my Folha da Frontera page
Why do coffee rings exist in the first place? Believe it or not, a team of physicists figured this out only in 1997, and their findings have implications for the design of ink-jet printers.

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