The story of Chichi®
Strong • Proud • Caribbean
Chichi® is a sensual, well rounded Caribbean figure. She represents the vibrant, dynamic and responsible older sister. She is handmade and hand painted in bright Caribbean colors by local craftsmen and painters at Serena’s Art Factory in Curaçao.
Chichi is the Papiamentu word for ‘big sister’. She represents the eldest daughter of the family, who binds the family together in a loving and caring way. She is a much appreciated female role model in the Caribbean community of today and a very live part of its colorful heritage.
Rooted firmly in Caribbean culture, Chichi® was created by Berlin born artist ‘Serena Janet Israel’. The Chichi® doll definitely has characteristics of the famous Austrian ‘Venus of Willendorf’ sculpture, and the women created by Fernando Botero and Niki de Saint Phalle, but is absolutely a unique personality on her own.
Serena’s Art Factory
Interesting • Professional • Free of charge
Serena’s Art Factory and the adjoining Art and Souvenir Shop are located near the CurAloë Plantation and the Ostrich Farm on the serene and beautiful east side of Curaçao. Visitors can tour the Factory and Shop, free of charge, and see how Serena’s amazing souvenirs and sculptures are made. We hope you will get the chance to visit us one day!
Serena’s Art Factory is a registered concept and company. It is also the place where Serena professionally restores sculptures in plaster and stone for churches, museums, individuals and firms. The tropical garden surrounding Serena’s Art Factory is used for lively open-air workshops for individuals and groups, who enjoy painting Serena’s sculptures and souvenirs themselves.
At Serena’s Art Factory her larger than life art sculptures are produced individually, and her delicate souvenirs are cast in silicon moulds and made of various materials like plaster, epoxy and concrete. This is done by a team of local craftsmen, experienced in both modern and traditional techniques.
The Chichi® sculptures and other Caribbean figurines are polished, finalized and transported to the homes over fifty local painters. Here the Chichi® sculptures come to life, when they are painted in 25 beautiful Caribbean colors, by a team of talented, local artists, trained by Serena herself.
Each painter paints the Chichi® sculptures and other souvenirs in her own colorful style, but follows specific directives to guarantee a certain product consistency. Many painters have developed their skills to such an extent, that Serena’s Art Factory is frequently approached by clients for custom made assignments and special requests.
Every Chichi has a little number that’s written on the bottom. You can look up the corresponding Painter that is responsible for your Chichi’s design on our website! (https://chichi-curacao.com/painter-by-number/) Read all about their love for the creative work they do when painting your favorite Chichi’s and how their painting has a positive impact on their lives. Each of the Painters has a beautiful and individual story to tell and would love to receive your feedback through the multimedia channels we use!
So, get up close and personal with our big family of Chichi Painters!
Serena’s Art Factory radiates artistic energy and possesses an atmosphere of inspired multicultural cooperation. Working with a close and committed team, Serena’s Chichi® sculptures and other souvenirs blend German craftsmanship with Caribbean colors and art and carry the passion and spirit of all those who help to create them.
Biography Serena Israel
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.