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The distinctive motif of the keffiyeh, the traditional Arab headscarf, which has become associated with the Palestinian cause, is a recurring motif in Hatoum’s work. From embroidering its design onto fabric using long strands of human hair, to transforming its grid pattern into a chain-link fence in many of its various works on paper, the keffiyeh appears in various examples of its work. For the illy art collection and the iconic decorated aluminum cans, Hatoum used an abstraction of the fishnet grid and the olive leaf pattern of the Arab headscarf long associated with stories of labor and human interdependence, giving it a new twist that allows it to Assume New Life as 100% Arabica Coffee Mug.

Since illy coffee is a 100% Arabica blend, I wondered what could be considered a 100% Arabic object or symbol. The Keffiyeh came to mind because I have often referred to it in my work, directly or indirectly. The fishnet pattern with knots is often seen as joining hands and therefore symbolizes the connection between people and the olive leaf pattern along the border, could be seen as representing peace. So it’s not only a beautiful abstract pattern, it also has an interesting symbolic meaning. And, of course, the keffiyeh has become a powerful symbol of the Palestinian cause.” – said Mona Hatoum.

Mona Hatoum is a sophisticated and thoughtful artist who has successfully dared to create a very authentic interpretation of the illy Art Collection project – Explain Massimiliano PoglianiCEO of illycaffè – Through its characteristic geometric style, Hatoum represented the social function of coffee, an elixir that transformed the coffee break into a ritual capable of connecting the world”.

The illy art collection signed by Mona Hatoum will be unveiled at Frieze London, Fiac Paris, Artissima Tourin and on the illy website in the section.

The limited edition collections of decorated cans will be available from November 2021 while cups will be available from December 2021 in different formats:

6 espresso cups (red, black and silver decorations) from £115
6 cappuccino cups (red, black and silver decorations) from £141
2 espresso cups (red and black decorations) from £43
2 cappuccino cups (red and black decorations) from £52

The illy Art collection and the limited edition 250g tin of the iconic illy blend 100% ground arabica, available in both Classic and Intense roasted, will be available via the illy e-shop, stores (illy Caffè and illy Shop), mass distribution and indirect e-commerce channels.

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