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News - New 2011 Illy Spirit Cup by Marina Abramovic
HomeBuy/Sell/TradeNewsNews - New 2011 Illy Spirit Cup by Marina Abramovic

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New 2011 Spirit Illy Cup by Marina Abramovic

 Marina Abramovic spirit cup 2011

 This Illy Cup is not available for purchase and were only given out as gifts to attendees of the 2,500$ a plate MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) gala.

Controversial performance artist, Marina Abramovic, was the creative director for November 12 2011 MOCA gala. Museum of Contemporary Art’s  director ,Jeffrey Deitch, chose the artist and her performance did not disappoint. In remarks, Jeffrey Deitch called Abramovic “the most influential performance artist working today.” The internationally-acclaimed artist has been the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The MOCA performance piece, titled “An Artist’s Life Manifesto,” was her first in Los Angeles.

The event followed MOCA’s tradition of innovative artist-directed fundraisers. Francesco Vezzoli orchestrated the 2009 blowout, which featured Lady Gaga and Bolshoi ballet dancers. In producing his 2010 event, Doug Aitken said that he planned “to sabotage the tradition of a gala,” which he did with a speed-talking auctioneer, table-drummers and cowboy with a cattle whip, in addition to the musical talents of Devendra Banhart, Beck and Caetano Veloso.

After Marina Abramovic’s shindig, one wonders what new surprises MOCA’s 2012 gala may bring. Tickets sold from $2,500 and $10,000 per person, bringing an estimated $2.5 million to the museum.

New York Times wrote: 

“ There was much controversy leading up to the Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual fund-raising gala, which was held over the weekend in a tent in front of the museum in downtown Los Angeles. Despite all efforts to maintain secrecy, word had leaked that Marina Abramovic, who art-directed the event, was going to submit a cast of young men and women to acts reminiscent of some of the often excruciating performances that have made her one of the world’s most well-known performance artists. Some would be required to lay dead still in the nude on a lazy susan or buried under a skeleton for hours on end; others would stick their heads out from underneath a table, maintaining a straight face throughout the course of the evening, while surrounding guests feasted on a three-course meal.

The news prompted another veteran performance artist, Yvonne Rainer, to send an open letter to the museum director, Jeffrey Deitch, protesting abuse and exploitation in the name of museum fund-raising. While Rainer’s letter may have spoiled some of the night’s surprises (and reportedly added to Abramovic’s pre-event jitters), for the gala’s organizers it proved to be an unexpected public relations blessing, keeping much of the art world abuzz long before the first guests even hit the red carpet.”

The cover-ups, according to the evening’s mastermind, performance artist Marina Abramovic, was “total transformation” at the heart of her performance piece. So were the 120 performers, who didn’t just serve figuratively as the event’s artistic centerpiece. They were literally centerpieces, placed at the tables, in lieu of the usual bouquet of flowers.

The long tables had heads poking through holes in the tabletops; the round tables featured nude women on platters topped by skeletons.  And as the live centerpieces stared into space, they slowly revolved.

When the festivities did begin, many of the 769 invitees — a high-profile mix that included Kirsten Dunst, John Baldessari, Gwen Stefani, Will Ferrell, Dasha Zhukova, Ed Ruscha, Eva Chow, Ryan Trecartin, Pamela Anderson, Hedi Slimane, Rosanna Arquette, Tilda Swinton, Francesco Vezzoli and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — were taken by surprise by the gala’s strictly enforced dress code of the same unshapely white lab coats worn by the staff. This was "at the request of the artist." Not everyone was happy about it: some complained that they were hot, others didn't like the fact the white jackets obscured their own carefully chosen outfits. "I could have worn a schmatta," said the jeweler Hilary Tisch, there with her pal Nicole Richie.At a certain point, Ms. Abramovic even approached the fashion stylist Rachel Zoe and asked her to put her lab coat back on. "She has to wear it," Ms. Abramovic said, and, when she took to the stage—a long runway—explained why.

"Some people don't like the lab coats," she told the room, which included hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen, burlesque artist Dita Von Teese, comedic actor Will Ferrell and magazine editor Dasha Zhukova. "But I like this idea of creating a total transition. You're not here as a guest at a gala. You are here as an experimenter."


By turning the night into her strange lab of performance art, Abramovic took the anti-gala concept a step further. And before the night ended, she read her artist’s manifesto, which was echoed by performers in lab coats. 

Recording icon Deborah Harry ended the affair. Lead singer of the legendary punk band Blondie, she arrived onstage like Cleopatra, hoisted shoulder-high on a divan carried by four men, naked from the waist up. In an eye-popping red dress, she stood in stark contrast to the room filled with white-coated guests, belting out rock numbers and helping Abramovic serve up dessert.    


 Illy Art Collection Spirit Cup 2011

This Illy Cup is not available for purchase and were only given out as gifts to attendees of the 2,500$ a plate gala.

VIP guests were treated to a limited edition gift bag at the end of the night.

The bag includes a 8.8 oz can of Illy ground espresso coffee along with an Illy Espresso Cup & Saucer that was designed by Marina Abramovic. The "Spirit Cup" was part of her performance, with dozens of performers drinking out of the cups on stage. 


The cup has a small hole just below the brim which allows you to see the interior of the cup.  Abramovic explained that this relates to her childhood where you would share your coffee with the spirits.  The cup measures 2" Tall x 2 3/8" in diameter and the saucer is 4 3/4" in diameter.  The saucer reads "AN ARTIST SHOULD LOOK DEEP INSIDE HIMSELF FOR INSPIRATION.  THE DEEPER HER LOOKS INSIDE HIMSELF, THE MORE UNIVERSAL HE BECOMES.  THE ARTIST IS UNIVERSE."

The cup is very similar to Spirit Cup released on  May 4th 2002 to celebrate Charta's ten-year anniversary and "Book Expo America 2002". During this event, Marina Abramovic presented "Spirit Cooking" together with the Spirit Cup at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (SoHo). 2002 cup is covered by 23,5 carate gold paint, 2011 cup is completely white.

Price on ebay between ~$350-$480. But it’s so rare and will definitely be one of the most wanted cups of illy Art Collection.

I'm appologize for bad quality of picture , I'll update article as soon as I'll get one of these ...


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