Serena Janet Israel (1971) was born into a creative and loving family of hardworking craftsmen and entrepreneurs in West Berlin, Germany. Her family stimulated her to appreciate music, culture and art from a very young age. Serena, the eldest of three sisters, developed a passion for color and form. A passion that is easily recognized in her craftsmanship and art works of today.
Serena is the creator of the Chichi®, and she is a professional mould maker, designer, art restorator, artist and art teacher. In 2001 she settled down in Curaçao, after she sailed around the world in a self-built sailing boat for an adventurous period of eight years. She used the experience of the journey to design her own sculpture and applied the knowledge and skills to reproduce her own artwork. This is how Chichi® got born.
Today Serena leads her own successful Art Factory and Art & Souvenir shop. Together with her team, she produces a wide range of commercial art products and souvenirs, handmade and hand painted on Curaçao. Of all her products, her Chichi’s® are the most well-known worldwide, which are registered as an official trademark.
Background information of the Artwork
Chichi® represents the vibrant, dynamic and responsible older sister. Chichi® is the Papiamentu word for ‘big sister’ and represents the eldest daughter of the family, who binds the family together in a loving and caring way. Taking care of the other children in the family is one of her tasks, Chichi® does not exclude anyone.
In 2018 Serena designed a Chichi® in a wheelchair, the idea was brought up by a Dutch tourist who was wheelchair bound. With this sculpture she wants to create awareness to build an accessible community for every unique individual that is visiting Curaçao or living on this beautiful island.
Serena herself grew up in an integrated class with children with different kinds of disabilities and finds it important that children learn to respect and accept each other at a young age. Therefore, she is very delighted with the project chosen for this auction.