Let’s be real. A staggering 500 billion paper cups are produced each year, most of which are not recyclable or compostable. Finding a reusable solution is far preferable, but in the meantime, one artist is photographing paper coffee cups and turning them into works of art.
New York City based photographer Henry Hargreaves finds art in the take-away cups around the city and in his travels around the world. He has collected over 200 paper cups and launched Coffee Cups Of The World two weeks ago.
Leslie Buck’s iconic Anthora Greek Coffee Cup was perhaps the world’s first manufactured paper cup with style, and these days, companies like Happy Cups in Berlin are teaming up with designers to create beautiful works of art out of the paper cup. Mr. Hargreaves takes photographs of cups in true verité style, complete with imperfections and drips. “I like the aesthetic of the stains,” Hargreaves tells us, “like the stamps when they are not quite perfect it makes it feel unique and well loved.”
So far he’s showcased cups from Providence, Los Angeles, New York, and spots further flung like Melbourne, London, and Paris. Here are 10 of our favorite cups so far: