The growing, sourcing, roasting and making of good coffee is an art form. Sometimes that art intersects with other forms with interesting results. Case in point: an exhibit at the Venice Biennale titled “Scent of a Dream.” Salgado started his professional life as an academic before plunging head-first into photography in 1973. Originally a news photographer, he would work for photo agencies Sigma, Gamma, and Magnum before founding Amazonas Images in 1994. Over the course of a career that led him to be hailed as one of the defining photographers of the 21st century, his exhibits and publications have included "Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age," "Genesis," "Migrations," and "Sahel: The End of the Road." The photographer's visual style -- beautifully-composed, perfectly textured black and white photos -- is instantly identifiable. But then, so is his thematic approach; he shares an eye for the overlooked and forgotten of society, making his work something of a photographic analog to Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. All of this brings us back, in a roundabout fashion, to "Scent of a Dream." Salgado, born and based in Brazil and an economist by training, was in some ways uniquely qualified to take on this project. He notes that "coffee is a product that is really universal," and the project -- sponsored by illycaffè -- speaks not only to that universality, but also the production of coffee and the impact on those who bring it from farm to table, which is too often forgotten or overlooked by those who consume it. More than a decade in the making, the project took Salgado from Brazil to Africa and Asia. The results are on display at the Biennale through September 27. Visit Illy for more on the exhibit: www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/art/sebastiao-salgado Preview photos from the exhibit courtesy of Vanity Fair A short video about "Scent of a Dream" TED Talk: Sebastiao Salgado on "The Silent Drama of Photography" And try our whole-bean coffee, starting with our Union Square Dark Roast whole bean coffee sourced from Papua New Guinea.
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