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Open Art

Lisa Hoke colors Nuvola with her Art

Published on 24 April 18

She arrived from New York, and for her first work in Italy, we gave her a huge white wall on the ground floor of Nuvola and lots of boxes with full and empty packages of coffee.

 

Lisa Hoke is an American artist famous for her huge installations in loud colors and paintings that cannot be contained by their frames. She has agreed to work for us at our headquarters where her work “Dolce Croma” is on display.

 

When she finished her work of art we interviewed her. This is what she said about her collaboration with Lavazza. 

 

- So Lavazza approached you out of the blue with their request for Nuvola. How did you approach this challenge?

 

I found it really interesting from the very beginning and started researching the company: the history, the new headquarters, sustainability, the coffee, the family run origins...the collaborations with artists; I immediately understood that this was a challenging environment, able to inspire others. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I wasn’t asked to produce a framed painting, but a creation conceived specifically for the headquarters’ new Showroom. From then on I knew it would go well!

 

The project touched on all the elements I love: an amazing team to support me, large spaces and all the artistic freedom I needed to work. I would have gone there, scissors and stapler in hand, with six to eight weeks to build on site, with no delays.

 

When I arrived at Nuvola, every possible packaging material was already prepared. Huge rolls of tinfoil used for coffee bags; boxes filled with printed packages that still had to be assembled; hundreds of assorted jars; and colorful plastic coffee pods, both full and empty! Wow.

 

Stairs, scaffolding, tables, tools: there was everything I needed to begin my work. This meant I had artistic freedom right from the start, and I was able to focus solely on creating.

 

“Dolce Croma” would not have existed without the dedication of all those involved in this project. Their help was crucial, from start to finish.    

 

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- How was the idea of using Lavazza packs conceived and how did you bring them to life?


Lavazza came to me with the idea of using their packaging to revisit the company’s history and envision its future. My previous murals were created using discarded parts from recycled cardboard packaging: this way the materials had an element of unpredictability and randomness. I liked the idea of this new challenge that came from the huge amount of printed materials.

 

It was only after I started working on it daily that I started to get a feel for the materials. I used thin ribbon to draw on the walls, creating a base for a drawing in motion. I had two assistants who had to cut and cut for six weeks. The cutting and collection of colors provided me with a palette to start with.  From there, I was able to change the color context and use it to develop new rhythms and themes.

 

I was as surprised as the others when I found out that the smaller the cut-outs and the more I folded and manipulated them, the more spontaneously the shapes emerged.

 

These were then cut, glued, stapled and secured: one of the best moments was drilling and securing the jars of Lavazza coffee directly to the wall. By doing this, they created an arch, perfectly offsetting the vinyl, aluminum and cardboard. 

 

 

 

The resulting images come from the unique and complex packaging, the local colors and the qualities I drew inspiration from, selecting them and adapting them to my own personal vision. As I split them up by color, I had the chance to observe each element, inch by inch. I freed them from their original function, transforming them into elements that made up something new, forcing them into action.

 

Its general structure is abstract. However, in the upper left corner of the mural the gentle presence of a tree is evident. The unlimited inspiration I gained from the fantastic product design provided the base, the starting point for the project.

 

One of the most engaging parts of my daily work with Lavazza was embracing this piece of work that seemed to take shape in slow motion. At times moments of activity would happen slowly, then suddenly, proving themselves necessary. Every creative decision was linked to the previous day’s work, whereas now it seems to be an integrated piece of work.

 

- Your work for Nuvola will be seen by Lavazza employees every day. What message do you want to communicate to them?

 

I don’t have a message. Rather, I hope to have created a work of art which confirms the fundamental importance I attach to seemingly modest gestures, that when repeated, take on strength and identity.

 

The secret, which is revealed slowly, is that the observer knows exactly as much as I do: it’s all before their very eyes. Their work is also part of mine and our histories intertwine.

 

- Lisa, can you draw the first thing that comes to mind if we say the word “coffee”?

 

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