Coffee Artist Ryan L. Lewis of Wilmington North Carolina
Interview with Ezju
The obvious question: why coffee?
Why not? As a small boy I watched a Cuban man paint in coffee & I enjoyed his exhibit very much. I always wanted to try it. I was intrigued by the many variations that you could get with really only using one color.
Describe your coffee "paint" making process.
I am not picky with the types of coffee that I choose to paint with. Mostly I will use what ever comes cheapest for me. Sometimes I will brew espresso. Most times I will just brew a small super strong dark cup of coffee. Then I let the cups sit and thicken, adding water as needed.
What is your coffee painting technique?
The technique I use is a basic one much the same of that of a watercolor painting. I usually use a simple system (if you could call it a system) - a light and a dark blend of coffee to get all the shades I need.
What do you find most unique about coffee as an artistic medium?
It is something so common to most people. I mean it’s in everyone kitchen but most people won’t paint with it. So I suppose the reaction I get from viewers is unique to me. But it’s really right in front of everyone’s noses.
Have you ever drank or tasted your coffee paint? Describe it!
No. It tastes & smells horrible actually. Entirely too strong.
Have you ever had or made others taste your coffee paint? Describe their reaction!
How do you think history books will look back on Arfé, coffee art, coffee painting, and coffee artists?
Well hopefully we will be taken serious. It’s actually a fairly challenging art form.
How do you want history to remember you and your contribution to the art world?
That guy really liked coffee!
How do you want history to remember Arfé, coffee art, coffee painting, and coffee artists?
That a few special artists chose a special medium to portray their ideas.
What significance does coffee play in your culture? Your life?
I drink it most of the day through so it plays a big part in my life. Painting with it has just become a natural extension of my love for creating art and coffee.
What cultural influences do you feel most impacted and/or are most reflected in your work?
I try to capture a flair of what we use most in the coffee world “the coffee cup”. Nothing to complicated just coffee art with a coffee theme, most times “human situations” for the coffee cups.
Before I contacted you, how aware of other artists who use coffee as an artistic medium?
I saw a few of them online, I was aware of the art form. I wanted it to do it my way though.
Do you think the recent proliferation of coffee artists around the world is Zeist Geist?
I think it’s a good thing there are others doing it. Viewers love it! We should all do more! W have something in our grasp that is simple but still beyond most “normal” people’s comprehension.
Some people think Arfé or coffee art/painting is just a novelty or quick passing fad. Do you believe this? Where do you see this movement going in the near and distant future?
I don’t think this is a fad. There is a long history actually, one that I myself am learning about. I feel that the movement will grow over the years.
Has commercial advertising, marketing and design had an impact on your art, subject matter and/or decision to use coffee as an artistic medium?
I have had current events impact a lot of my coffee images. For example I painted a paratrooper coffee cup jumping out of an airplane & also a nuclear bomb being dropped into a cup. So yes I would admit that some of my work is impacted by current events.
How do patrons and art admirers describe your work?
Most people don’t even realize what is created with until you tell them. They enjoy it.How do critics describe your work?
Dark and scented of coffee.
How as the media received you and your work?
At my first showing I sold a really large coffee painting for a nice price. Everyone at the showing seemed to like the piece more than my usual style of work. As a whole the local media here in Wilmington NC has been supportive but honestly I think that they are distraught and confused about what I am doing. That’s fine with me. I appreciate press but that isn’t why I do what I do.
What level of satisfaction and success have you had on a personal, social, spiritual, and commercial level with your art?
The success of allowing people to view the work is magic enough. I have met some great artists & friends through the art.
What is your life dream in regards to your art? Have you fulfilled it? If not how do you plan to reach it?
Wow. I think about that everyday. The dream is just to create as much as I can for as long as I am able. To leave behind an archive of my thoughts for others to enjoy. It is a life’s work.
During interviews a local radio personality, Ichabod Caine on KMPS, ends his interviews with the question I leave you with. What is your very first child hood memory?
Something with diapers?
Visit Ryan's Web site: The Coffee Corporation »
Contact Ryan L. Lewis by E-mail: email@example.com
Korean Broadcast Service KBS flew out from L.A. out to Wilmington, N.C. to interview coffee artist, Ryan L. Lewis for an upcoming documentary film and shoot his art.
The doc film is based on addictions / effects of caffeine & alcohol, funded by KBS The Korean Broadcasting Service. A demo on HD camera of how the art is created & an in depth interview was done.
I am producing an audio CD release, an audio experience based on the making of, the drinking o and the enjoyment of coffee laced with ambient sounds, samples,
gadgets & field recordings. It will be coming out on my record label numberonenoise.com.
- EzjuEdward Patrick Kranz (Ezju)
Fine ArtistNo Such Animal Studios
Art Director/Co-FounderPh'Kaki Media & Design | Ph'Kaki Entertainment
Independent Artists Forum - Ph'orum!
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