What you see above is no mere myth or legend; rainbow latte art has become a new trend, thanks to Las Vegas-based barista Mason Salisbury. This trend started out as a way for Salisbury to train himself and other baristas on how to control milk flow when creating latte art with the traditional espresso. However, rather than wasting espresso for the training of these baristas, Salisbury put food die into the milk after steaming. This way, when the milk is poured, the change of color still occurs, and the baristas are still able to gain a visual grasp on how to control their pour and technique without wasting espresso.
I first saw this post as an article on Facebook, and then soon saw it again on Colossal, a well known art blog/website that updates a few times a week with new and emerging artists with methods of art making that haven’t been seen before, or known artists who keep expanding their style and influencing the art world with their work. When I saw it on Facebook, I thought it was just a neat way for someone to train baristas on latte at, as the article suggested, because I myself am a barista who is always trying to learn how to master ‘latte art’. Once I saw it on Colossal, however, I began to think about how this is a true art form, even if it’s not traditionally known in the art world as art. On Colossal, one can always find an article on something people wouldn’t have ever considered as a way of art making, or something more than a craft trend; from birds made out of motorcycle parts to chocolate candies designed to look like planets.
This article also makes me think of how contemporary art is discovered today, and also how rainbows seem to be taking over pop culture. Rainbows are no longer just the phenomena that results from the reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets; rainbows have become a fashion, a vastly popular food trend, and also a political symbol. It’s become increasingly difficult for some people in today’s culture to see a rainbow and think of anything other than its reference to ‘gay culture’, and it has become equally difficult to walk through a store and not see a consumer product that advertises itself as ‘rainbow’. It’s become increasingly popular in our culture, and this latte art is only one example of it occurring in the art world. The use of bright color has been increasingly popular since Pop! Art, and continues to be a popular theme into the 21st century. I find it interesting to see how popular culture effects art, and I can only help but wonder where contemporary art is going to go from here, and what art will look like in even ten years.