Earlier this year, the duo of artists David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin have decided to bring back to life paintings that had disappeared through unique creations on the foam of the coffees served every day at Paname. Latte art of a new kind! An ephemeral hacking of reality to raise awareness on the mysterious fate of these paintings.
In a time where we are more and more focused on taking a nice picture of our food or drink to post on our social networks, rather than the tasting itself, the idea of the artists Brognon-Rollin is simply brilliant. “Printing” representations of vanished works of art on milk foam thanks to a machine that works just like a printer, in order to make them reappear in our reality. At least for a short time. “We have selected a number of paintings that were stolen from museums a while ago. Not knowing what happened to them has always been on our minds,” explains Stéphanie.
The two artists discovered this very special machine during a trip to Los Angeles a few years ago. Obsessed with this technology, they wondered how to use it to link art to reality. So how does it work in practice? The principle is simple: the works are “downloaded” onto the machine which prints them (like a real printer) on the milk foam using roasted coffee powder rather than ink.
The first print was the Italian painter Modigliani’s 1919 work “La Femme à l’Eventail”, which was stolen from the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris in one of the biggest thefts of paintings in history. “It’s crazy because we don’t know where these artworks are, what has been their fate since they disappeared.” “Fate” has always been at the heart of both artists’ work. This was notably the case with their creation made with white neon lights, representing the Fate lines present in the hands of drug addicts (Fate will tear us apart, 2011).
Thus, every week, when you order a cappuccino or an espresso martini at Paname, you can discover a new missing painting. “It’s very interesting because depending on the milk foam and the coffee, the representation will not be perfect, as if it had aged”, explains David Brognon, pleased. A disappeared work that still lives on through an ephemeral impression and the photos taken of it by customers. Only to disappear again. What a strange fate life sometimes holds for us.
More information: www.brognon-rollin.com
Pictures: David Brognon & Stéphanie Rollin