Now You See It: Anish Kapoor Creates Bottomless Espresso Cups for illy

The work of Anish Kapoor is a delight to experience but awfully tricky to translate into words or pictures. The Bombay-born, London-based artist’s monumental sculptures send photographers scurrying to dodge distorting reflections and leave critics to expound upon “mirrored convexities” and “funneled, shallow volumes.” This has kept Kapoor rather removed from the featured collaborator circuit, in which companies tap top artists and designers to put their aesthetic signature on everything from t-shirts and jeans to mascara tubes and wine labels. He’s finally found a good match in illy, the global espresso purveyor that has invited artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Marina Abramovic to reimagine its trademark white porcelain cup, originally designed by Matteo Thun. For the latest in illy’s series of artist-designed cup collections, Kapoor came up with a cup and saucer that could double as a dollhouse-sized version of some his best known works. The inside of the cup and centerless saucer are coated in a shiny platinum finish, and the distinctive silvery life preserver quality of the latter is sure to spark deep conversations—and possibly a craving for glazed donuts. The Kapoor cups go on sale in September in beautifully packaged sets of two ($90 at illy’s online shop).