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BOTTLE CAP by El Anatsui

el anatsui is one of the most exciting contemporary visual artists of our time. emerging from the vibrant post-independence art movements of 1960s and ’70s west africa, he has gone on to receive widespread international acclaim for his sculptural experiments with media, form and tradition.


el anatsui mostly uses aluminum seals from the tops of liquor bottles, but also incorporates flattened or rolled bottle caps as well. all are meticulously wired together.

in 1999, the artist happened upon a bag of bottle caps thrown in the bush. He inquired, and found that the local distillery removed the metal caps and seals from used liquor bottles before refilling the containers. and so a steady source ensued.


elanautsiwith the help of numerous assistants, anatsui flattens the seals and folds them into strips that are then woven together with copper wire.