Guinness World Record for housekeeper-turned-artist for his mega coffee art tribute to late Queen Elizabeth II

This is the second time Sree Raj S. has earned a Guinness World Record

Artist Sree Raj S Artist Sree Raj S. chose Queen Elizabeth II as the subject for the world’s largest coffee painting

In 1952, upon ascending to the throne, Elizabeth II not only inherited her father's crown but also the Royal Collection of art, a vast assemblage spanning many centuries that included drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. During official dinners with heads of state or other VIPs, a tour of the Royal Collection often became the highlight. The Queen's approach to the collection greatly benefited the art world, as it became integrated into mainstream art history through frequent and extensive loans to international exhibitions.

Artist Sree Raj S. doesn’t remember when he first learned about what the late Queen has done for art and artists, but he has long admired her as the protector of some of the most precious art ever produced. This admiration inspired him to choose her as the subject for the world’s largest coffee painting, created in his village near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth created by Sree Raj on a mega canvas of 325.62 square metre, using coffee powder and water, recently earned a Guinness World Record. The artwork is housed at the space provided by Narayana Guru College of Engineering in Manjalumoodu, Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.

This is the second time Sree Raj has earned a Guinness World Record. Previously, he set the record by creating a mosaic-style portrait of Charlie Chaplin using over 357,000 matchsticks. Created on a 24-square-foot plywood board, he took four months to complete this work.

Interestingly, this artist has never received any professional training in art. “Even during school, I loved to create art. But my father passed away when I was a kid, and my mother had no means to send me to an art school,” he says, adding that his mother, who supported him through manual labor, has been his greatest supporter. To sustain his family, Sree Raj has done multiple jobs, including housekeeping work in a hotel. “He comes from an extremely poor background and has struggled to the core. He still does not own even a piece of land,” said filmmaker Anil V. Nagendran, who has known Sree Raj for many years now. But art never left him, and he never left art.

Acrylic is Sree Raj's favorite conventional medium for creating art. However, his passion for exploring unconventional art media has led him to exciting projects and world records. In 2013, he created a mega portrait of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam using charcoal. A year later, in 2014, he created a 42-foot-high Santa Claus using over 150,000 shattered glass pieces.

For the portrait of the Queen, Sree Raj used over 8 kg of coffee powder and over 12 litre water. The Guinness World Record team documented that Sree Raj is dedicating his new record to his mother. He told THE WEEK that he has just one disappointment: “I wish the Queen had been alive when I created this work. I am sure she would have appreciated it.”

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