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(158) MR. ESPRESSO (Woman Pouring Coffee):

Edition of 2774 of which 100 copies are signed 1-100, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs; five are signed as dedication copies, and three sets are signed as progressives.

December 30, 1993 17-1/2" x 24" 11 colors

Model: Edie Sei Ichioka

Client: "Mr. Espresso," Carlo DiRuocco, 696 Third Street, Oakland CA 94607. Telephone VOX (510) 287-5200 FAX (510) 287-5204
A-Z: Artist's own use
Dedication copies: Edie Sei Ichioka; Carlo & Marie Françoise Di Ruocco; Luigi Di Ruocco; Laurence Di Ruocco; Giovanni Di Ruocco.
Progressives: One set to Carlo Di Ruocco

She looks so sad, or perhaps merely pensive, sitting there alone pouring her own coffee. Just one cup, not two. In Japan they have a phrase for loneliness: "to pour your own saké." You're never supposed to allow your companion's tiny steaming cup to become empty, and you raise your own as it is filled for you. This compels people to remain attentive to each other's needs, and to be careful of their feelings, lest they commit a breach of etiquette.

I wonder-is she still alone, sitting by herself holding an antique silver left-handed pot and pouring into a tiny filigree-nested cup as her hidden thoughts swim deep beneath the surface of her eyes? What will she see reflected in that black and shiny pool before her? What will she see if she looks and does not look away? Will the good hot coffee cheer her up, as I so hope and wish it might?