Arfé Art

Coffee musings on paper

Rajvi Sanghvi spills the beans on the revival of coffee art in the caffeine-high city of Hyderabad

We’ve seen latte art of all sorts in our cups, but have we considered turning the cups onto the paper? Coffee painting is coming to Hyderabad on a larger scale and people are hopped up for it. After all, food and art have long been intertwined and the city has a unique adoration for all things coffee — so why not bring it to a new headspace through coffee painting?

First cup

Rajvi Sanghvi, who is organising Hyderabad’s first workshop at Jxtapose on behalf of collaborative reacreation-catalyst HobbMob, shares she got her first taste of coffee painting when she was looking for more artistically creative hobbies in which to indulge, adding, “I just thought it looked spectacular. The special part about using coffee is that it is essentially a monochromatic substance, but when you press hard upon the paper or use different concentrations of coffee product, you get a darker outcome, and a lighter one when using less pressure — plus it smells amazing! It’s not like acrylic where it’s a single colour and you have to adjust by using other paints.”

More commonly known by its portmanteau Arfé, the art form is making big moves. Originally used by travelling artists who couldn’t carry paints with them, diluting coffee and using techniques of pressure-application and texturised strokes has shaped a rapid popularisation of a much-loved drink in new ways.

Big strokes forward

It’s been a year since Rajvi took to coffee painting and this art practice has taken off pretty well in Delhi and Bengaluru. Rajvi adds, “In Delhi, it picked up really well; we did a session in City Select Mall where 300 people took part. Bringing people together in these fun ways is worth it, and they get to take their creations home. You see a lot of different reactions and I hope to see that in Hyderabad.”

Now a full-fledged specialised art-genre, various styles of coffee paintings are differentiated based on beans, tools and inspiration used. Some artists have added gold to the works, adding a certain lustre to the pieces while others have melded in some soil to add a striking earthiness. Famous artists already established in this realm include Godfrey Caleb, who uses watercolour techniques to pull off dreamy landscapes, Malaysian Hong Yi, who uses coffee cup rings to make impressions, and Filipino Sunshine Plata, who is noted for her otherworldly swirls in various shades.

Use of natural pigments such as coffee is also reminiscent of the early forms of paintings. With more consciousness placed upon ‘green art,’ the revival of such paints has been welcomed with open arms by those in and out of art circles— and now in Hyderabad too.

Art of Coffee Painting 2.0 will take place at Jxtapose in Jubilee Hills on August 20, from 4pm to 6pm. Tickets and registration are available at the door for ₹950.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:41:35 AM |

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