(203) MR. ESPRESSO (Carlo Di Ruocco):

Edition of 2672 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125; 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, 4 copies are signed as dedication copies.

Three sets of progressives.

July 27, 2004

6 colors 15-1/8 x 24

Influence: Ludwig Hohlwein

Client: Mr. Espresso, Carlo DiRuocco, 696 Third Street, Oakland CA 94607. Telephone (510) 287-5200

Model: Carlo DiRuocco

1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press
A-Z: Artist's own use
Dedication copies: Carlo & Marie Françoise Di Ruocco; Luigi Di Ruocco; Laurence Di Ruocco; Giovanni Di Ruocco

Progressives: One set to Carlo Di Ruocco, one set to Saint Hieronymus Press.

Imagine a world without coffee. Imagine a world without corn, soy beans, potatoes, tomatoes, tea, pepper, whiskey, chocolate or sugar. Imagine a world without silk, cotton or rubber. Imagine a world without electricity, plate glass, anesthetics or soap. I can imagine such a world: this is the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and they did all right, considering. What I can't imagine is all the things that don't exist yet. Trying to imagine what will be an indispensable, absolutely necessary, common-as-dirt aspect of the world one hundred years from now is like trying to imagine a new color.

When I sit for a while and collect my thoughts over a steaming cup of coffee, I reflect that this simple pleasure was denied the great Caesars and all the Pharaohs of Egypt, who didn't even know what they were missing. How can you miss something that you don't know about? But we all know the pleasure of finding something like Band-Aids or Post-It Notes: the minute we see it we can't think how we ever did without. In each one of us there is a yearning for things that don't exist; an unfelt need. And we will never be happy until we attain this ever-receding goal, and we never will. Ours is worse than the torments of Tantalus, who at least knew what he didn't have.