Mario Herran


"Good Coffee"
Screen Print
59.4  X 84.1 cm
Coffee is sometimes the only common denominator between societies that coexist but which never interact.
At its origin, the coffee plant is often grown, harvested and roasted in developing countries. It has become the livelihood of many local farmers and producers. At the same time, coffee is profoundly associated with the very demanding life of the western world, fuelling its frenetic rhythm on a daily - or even hourly-  basis.
One could argue that in both cases, its demise would provoke a societal collapse, which demonstrates just how deeply one relies on this caffeine-rich beverage. 
The contrast between these two worlds undermines the inherent duality of coffee.
This context was the starting point for my approach to the creation of this artwork. I deliberately looked for an polyvalent image that would allow the viewer to choose its composition.
Initially, I used a rigid grid which I then populated with my hand drawings. Although repetition is synonymous with homogeneity, I conferred to each cup and hand its own character.
What the artwork illustrates is the interconnecting quality of coffee as so many people depend on it for its effect, financial value or simply its unique taste.
The final piece has been created as a five colours silkscreen. I first set the initial grid upon which I painted with china ink the hand drawn illustration. I then reworked the composition, coloured the drawing and added the copy digitally. The final step involved separating each colour to be transferred onto a silkscreen for printing in my local studio.
The final piece is at first intriguing and humorous but it also has a message that is grounded in coffee culture's interwoven identity.