Thursday 25 July 2024
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Introducing Pascale Marthine Tayou, the artist behind the new illy Art Collection

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TRIESTE, Italy and LONDON, UK – illycaffè presents the new illy Art Collection by Pascale Marthine Tayou, one of Africa’s leading contemporary artists. Pascale Marthine Tayou has captivated an international audience with his work since the beginning of the 90s. Characterized by a very strong versatility and heterogeneity, elusive of any type of pre-established scheme, his work mediates between different cultures by comparing man and nature, social, cultural, or political constructions.

The representation of the mask in Tayou’s work is a recurring reference to his homeland, and to the issues of identity and dissimulation, mixed with hybrid materials from all over the world. Indeed, the artist – who likes to define himself a foreigner, a nomad, and a traveller – believes that the concepts of encountering, exchanging, and sharing constitute the future of humanity.

Decorating the espresso cups and coffee tins that comprise the illy Art Collection, Pascale Marthine Tayou has chosen a color palette which depicts African landscapes. Creating a stylised mask leaning against a tree, whose every branch has eggs growing on them as a symbol of birth and creation, the collection is a reflection on the great issues of our time: conflicts, environmental sustainability, globalisation, immigration.

“The desire to give voice to the various languages and movements of contemporary art on all five continents through the iconic white illy espresso cup, which becomes a blank canvas at the disposal of the great masters of art, helped us get to know Tayou – commented Cristina Scocchia, CEO of illycaffè – a versatile artist who used the typical shapes and colours of his works to express his interpretation of the world through this new illy Art Collection”.

Pascale Marthine Tayou has chosen to describe the illy Art Collection through the verses of a poem he composed for the occasion:

My sweet illy…
A cup like half an egg.
Its sap on your lips in search of flavour.
Tender buds on blooming branches,
A smiling mask guarding the colored eggs.
Spots of happiness in the spice country,
a saucer like an oasis of pleasure for sweets.

The illy Art Collection signed by Pascale Marthine Tayou will be previewed at the following international contemporary art fairs: Frieze London, Asia Now in Paris, and Artissima in Turin.

Pascale Marthine Tayou

Born in Cameroon in 1966, Pascale Marthine Tayou has participated in several prestigious artistic events including Documenta in Kassel in 2002 and the Venice Art Biennale in 2005 and 2009. Tayou is interested in the effects of objects, ideas, and people circulating worldwide, blending geographies, and combining symbols, techniques, and materials from various different cultural traditions with the goal of creating new meanings and new interpretations of reality. He will use almost anything to create his pieces: chalk, glass, textiles, wood, rocks, iron, and plastic bags, transforming them into sculptures and installations.
Pascale Marthine Tayou lives and works between Ghent, Yaoundé and Paris, where he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts.

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