Today’s New York Times blogged about a new barista-as-art exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum: Guggenheim Turns Coffee Into Art – City Room Blog – NYTimes.com.

Part of an art installation named Cinéma Liberté/Bar Lounge (we are told the other half is a movie), baristas behind a wooden bar serve espresso drinks from three Francis Francis machines. The concept presents the craft of, and the interaction with, the barista as art.

Not surprisingly, the coffee is supplied by Illy, which explains the espresso machines used in the exhibit. Illy has opened temporary “concept” espresso bars in New York City before — such as their Beauty Has A Taste stunt two years ago.

To qualify as art, we only hope the exhibit uses legitimate, ground-to-order fresh coffee. However, based on the pictures of the setup, “art” unfortunately seems to mean the stale, flat-tasting, pre-ground beans and environmental waste of Illy coffee pods. Talk about obscene art.

Espresso-bar-as-exhibit at New York's Guggenheim Museum, courtesy NYTimes