Obra di arte

This work of art was made by the Curaçaoan artist Philippe Zanolino, who used pieces of glass that washed ashore on the beaches of Curaçao. The pieces of glass are the archeological evidence of the transatlantic trade hub that Curaçao once was. Ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean would only bring alcoholic beverages, as drinking water went bad within 4 days. The glass shards of bottles that had been thrown overboard were polished on the bottom of the sea into soft jewel-like pieces. It is clearly visible that wine bottles were blue in the 18th century. Phillippe Zanolino’s son tells us about the beach where his father taught him to see what others can’t see.

Listen to the podcast

2:27 min

"As we were swimming my dad would pick up all the stones and say “Hey! Do you see the face in this one?” and collect them all."

- Giovanni Zanolino

My name is Giovanni Zanolino. I’m the son of Philippe Zanolino and I’m an artist myself. I was raised in a very tight relationship with my dad; I also followed in his footsteps. I saw him work on most of his collections that I can remember. This one was a very special one because he would go right in front of our house in the Penstraat which is a historical street in Curaçao. As we were swimming he would always pick up all the stones and he would always say “Hey! Do you see the face in this one?” Or “Do you see this in that one?” and he would collect them all. And then one day he bailed out all these sculptures with them He called the ‘The Love Warriors’, that’s a really fun series he made. I think he worked on it for about a year and a half, maybe two years. He made about three hundred of these objects. Right now he’s actually working on medium-sized Love Warriors. It was just fun to see the way an artist would see different things in objects and it also taught me to look deeper. If I would see a rock I would also want to impress my dad so all of us would go looking for rocks that looked like something. 90% of the time we would be wrong and then he out of nowhere would find all these magical objects. So it really taught me to look around for the treasures all around us and that God really is the artist.