French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel (b. 1964) began working with glass in the early 1990s. Othoniel strings overdimensional beads of translucent and opaque coloured glass in monumental garlands that unfold their luxurious splendour in tree branches or on building façades.
The Paris-based artist has used bubbles of precious Murano glass and fine metal rings to form delicate bed frames (“Mon Lit”, 2002) and fragile crowns (“Kiosque de Noctambules”, 2000). The framework of glass beads Othoniel mounted on a simple wooden boat for his “Le Bateau de Larmes” (2004) symbolises the tears and suffering of Cuban boat refugees. The translucent quality of the glass corresponds to the characteristic look of watercolours, Othoniel’s preferred medium for sketching his projects and ideas. His extensive catalogue of watercolours constitutes on its own an independent oeuvre representing Othoniel's vast artistic imagination.