Creativity has no form, colour, domain or signs. Innovation is perpetually visible and excites every human being. When both of these attributes meet, an artist is born. The word artist is not limited to paintings and craft and actually it has a deeper meaning that encompasses all initiators, creators, scientists, engineers, medical practitioners etc in some way or the other. Artists keep amusing us by their scintillating artwork. Coffee painting is one such innovation which appears to be a simple work, but is, actually, quite complex. Once someone comes out with the new concept and everyone follows, it leads to a mass invention. But isn’t every creation similar in some way or other?
Simple but innovative things become a trend and soon a widely accepted phenomenon. Coffee painting or Arfé these days is a widely accepted art form and has gained in popularity. Paintings in this art form are made from coffee, and the aroma of fresh coffee reflects in the freshness of artworks, believe the painters. This is so true that this fresh form of art is a treat to the eyes and soul. This is an extension of the pencil art which had limitations in terms of shades and expressions and the coffee art bridges this gap.
The commercialization of this art is well underway and is also known as Arfé which can be defined as the creation of artworks by tinting with coffee. The nomenclature was given by a Puerto Rican artist, Francisco Rivera Rosa who described his paintings of using coffee by combining two words, art and café. Thus, arfé is a portmanteau and has been gaining in popularity. Coffee paintings were traditionally done by artists while they were on vacations or business trips when they didn’t have access to conventional means of paintings and used coffee instead of paint but this later became a trend and artists started using more sophisticated utensils and varieties of coffee bean pastes specifically made for paintings. This led to a generation of artists specializing in this form of art and several institutes started short courses related to this art.
Complexity grew with competition and coffee art now can be differentiated by coffee beans used, utensils used and professionals who make it. This niche art form has also been critiqued by a lot of artists who have claimed this as an aberration to the real art and claims have also been made by few that these paintings are made by and made for amateurs. Amateurs or not but a lot of these paintings are a delight to watch and a lot of popular artists have started to endorse Coffee art. A lot of artists have added this form as an armament to their existing collection of expertise in traditional and contemporary art forms.
It may be termed as unconventional, not so sophisticated, simple etc but we all would agree on one point that this is a unique form of art and uniqueness and creativity is that all art lovers appreciate. Innovation can be a giant or a minnow, but this doesn’t undermine the importance of innovation. This art form deserves an appreciation from the art lovers and in many ways has started getting the attention it deserves. I leave you with a wonderful piece of coffee art displayed below (Credits- Craftziners).