The design of our new cafe in Philadelphia was a real collaboration between our co-founders and a group of amazing artists and craftsman. The result is a bright and relaxing place to enjoy your coffee. The center of the cafe is a completely custom bar with marble counter tops by sculptor/craftsman Andrew Jevremovic of Octo Studio. We have been lucky to work with Andrew on many projects and have several more in the works.
When at the bar ordering you are standing in the shadow of a large mural by artist David Guinn. Previously David painted a mural for our 270 Lafayette St. cafe in Manhattan, so when the concept of a mural at the new cafe came up David’s name was the first and last mentioned. David took some time to answer a couple questions about the mural and his work.
What was your inspiration behind the mural?
The overarching idea behind the mural is- how do we create a mural that relates to the craft and tradition of espresso and make it fresh and site specific. JP showed me a photo of Il Duomo in Milan with a Faema van driving by. I wanted to retain what was enduring about that image, the amazing architecture, the motion of the street, and the style of the vehicles, without slipping into nostalgia- to present that information and those qualities in a way that is relevant and alive today, and, importantly, works in harmony with the cafe as a whole and its context in Philadelphia. The Dilworth Plaza cafe is across the street from Philadelphia’s City Hall- an incredible piece of architecture. Milan is the birthplace of the espresso machine and it seemed like a cool idea to set up Il Duomo, one of the architectural icons of Milan, facing one of the architectural icons of Philadelphia.
Who helped you work on this piece?
Keith Hocking, Vanessa Fenton, and Peter Tupitza helped on the mural.
Do you like doing indoor murals better than outdoor work?
Indoor murals let you get into the details in a way that you don’t get with a piece that is designed to be seen from a hundred yards away. People really get up close with the work, so its important to get into the craft of painting, the steadiness of the brush and the quality of the line. By the same token, Indoor murals are so much smaller that most outdoor murals, that it is possible to give a loving touch and spend time with every detail. But because of the scale of indoor spaces, an indoor mural can have just as great an impact- it takes up as much as or more room in one’s field of vision as a huge mural that you see in the context of huge buildings. The sun really beats me up working outdoors, so working inside feels like a luxury.
David Guinn Bio
David Guinn was born and raised in Philadelphia PA. A graduate of Columbia University, he was originally trained as an architect. Since 1998 David has painted murals throughout Philadelphia, and other cities in North America including New York and Washington DC. Most recently, he collaborated on a cycle of four season-themed murals in Montréal, Canada. His work has been profiled in books, newspapers, magazines, and on television, including NPR, the New York Times, Spin Magazine, La Presse, Montréal, and WHYY TV Philadelphia. His smaller scale paintings have been shown in galleries and museums in the Philadelphia region including The Fabric Workshop and Museum, The National Museum of American Jewish History, Woodmere Art Museum, The Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, and The Art Alliance. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including an Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts and A Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship in the Arts. Images of his work can be found at his website, www.davidguinn.com.