Street Artist Bicio Customizes La Marzoccos on Display in Rome’s National Gallery, Dedicated to Africa

Notes on this piece ”Songwa: The customized machine Linea Mini was made purposely for the Corporate Art exhibition as a work of art dedicated to Songwa. The lacquer was completed using warm colors and by dividing the theme of the painting into two parts - upper and lower - to express two "shades" of reality that are distinct to life in coffee plantations. The first presents, right in the middle of the central panel, the design of two careful hands holding coffee cherries, almost as if they were extended towards the viewer to reveal the coffee's own nature, before making their way to the first stages of the production cycle. The upper side panels depict a Tanzanian woman bent forward, in a popular red tunic dress, attentively collecting the beans laid on the ground. The lower part is associated with the typical patterns of the "Kitenge", African clothes from the Swahili (Tanzanian) tradition, with wax prints on cotton. In this case, the motifs in white, black, beige and brown, recall the dried coffee beans, and therefore the next step following the cherry-collecting process, which have yet to move through other phases within the "coffee" supply and value chain until closing its journey: when the beans ultimately end up in a quality cup of aromatic, freshly brewed coffee.

La Marzocco has long embraced creativity and imagination, seeing the value of bringing fluid art forms to the precision engineering that their professional coffee machines built by hand in Florence, Italy, are. At the La Marzocco Out of the Box event in Milan in 2013, artists from around the country worked for days on original designs along the sides of La Marzocco’s classic machines. And the tradition was already in place back then: La Marzocco understands the importance of integrating all forms of art ”from music to writing to performance ”into its brand not only for the sake of opening wide the doors of access to these exquisite machines, but celebrating the artisans who come into contact with them the most often: the baristas.

Even after years of seeing everything from classic to abstract art come to life on the exterior of La Marzocco machines, however, we were blown away by the beauty of the visions realized by Fabrizio “Bicio” Folco Zambelli, a renowned street artist, on the machines now on display at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, in a show that opens today in Rome.

Three machines are included in the exhibition, “Corporate Art: The Company as an Object of Art.” Bicio focused on Africa as the inspiration for his designs, bringing to life typical scenes from the most remote corners of the continent: “From the celebration of the heroine, Josina Machel, of Mozambique, to the floral exoticism typical of traditional African fabrics, and finally to the cult ”and cultivation ”of coffee as a basic resource for the livelihoods of populations along the equatorial belt, a true driving force of the global economy,” reads the press release issued today.

Street Artist Bicio Customizes La Marzoccos on Display in Rome's National Gallery, Dedicated to Africa
Notes on this piece ”Zebra: The customized FB80 machine, created in 2011, draws inspiration from African textiles by revisiting the  collective imagination of exotic African locations, and with the aid of original photographs taken on site.  Yellow is the dominant color in the work, which is surrounded by outlines in black, white and orange.  A zebra is at the center of a black-striped camouflaged background signed La Marzocco. The subject covers  part of the front panel, while on the sides the machine reveals a lively mix of varied and colorful figures  recalling Africa’s widespread cultural and symbolic activities in decorative arts and textiles. In an
iconographic style, the machine reflects daily life attuned to the local flora and fauna of the area.
Street Artist Bicio Customizes La Marzoccos on Display in Rome's National Gallery, Dedicated to Africa
Notes on this piece ”The Heroine of Mozambique: The customized FB80 model, introduced for the first time in 2013 at La Marzocco’s industrial off-site event  “Out Of The Box”, was commissioned to honor Mozambique’s heroine, Josina Machel, for whom – since  2010 – Women’s Day in Mozambique is celebrated every April 7th, in her memory. Josina Machel fought  and died for independence, becoming an example of courage and national strength. Before her death at  the young age of 25, Josina was imprisoned on April 7th, 1971, for having opposed colonial rule: during her  life she played a key role in the fight for freedom, furthered the movement of emancipation for women and  married the first national president.  ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼The customized machine, with a chromatic version of green, white and black colors, displays the framed  ï¿¼face of the heroine on the front panel, surrounded by curvilinear decorations inspired by traditional fabrics

Street Artist Bicio Customizes La Marzoccos on Display in Rome's National Gallery, Dedicated to Africa
Notes on this piece ”Songwa: The customized machine Linea Mini was made purposely for the Corporate Art exhibition as a work of art  ï¿¼dedicated to Songwa. The lacquer was completed using warm colors and by dividing the theme of the  ï¿¼painting into two parts – upper and lower – to express two “shades” of reality that are distinct to life in  ï¿¼coffee plantations.  The first presents, right in the middle of the central panel, the design of two careful hands holding coffee  cherries, almost as if they were extended towards the viewer to reveal the coffee’s own nature, before  making their way to the first stages of the production cycle. The upper side panels depict a Tanzanian  woman bent forward, in a popular red tunic dress, attentively collecting the beans laid on the ground. The  lower part is associated with the typical patterns of the “Kitenge”, African clothes from the Swahili
(Tanzanian) tradition, with wax prints on cotton.  In this case, the motifs in white, black, beige and brown, recall the dried coffee beans, and therefore the  next step following the cherry-collecting process, which have yet to move through other phases within the  “coffee” supply and value chain until closing its journey: when the beans ultimately end up in a quality cup  of aromatic, freshly brewed coffee.
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