Latte Art: A Manifesto
Varese Layzer. Lazy, 2010.
A minor controversy recently erupted in the highly-caffeinated Mission District of San Francisco. The work of photographer Varese Layzer was prematurely removed from the walls of Ritual Coffee Roasters, a café that regularly exhibits artwork. Layzer posted online an e-mail from Eileen Hassi, Ritual’s owner, explaining the censorship. The works in question are innocuous photographs of suitcases, dogs, and windows, but there was an accompanying artist’s statement, which related these images to the death of the artist’s mother. Hassi, who was out of town when her soon-to-be-fired curator installed the photographs, claims in the e-mail that Layzer’s work is “too serious for the cafe.” She then proceeded to tell Layzer, and thus the world, what is appropriate art for a café: “The art that belongs in a cafe is fluffier stuff, stuff that doesn’t make people think about the tough questions in life.”