Saj, Christina

O Holy Night, 2012
Mixed media on canvas
36 x 36 in
Nativity, 2009
Mixed media on tile
12 x 12 in
Eternal Flame, 2005
Egg tempera and gold leaf on panel
8 x 10 in
Holy City, 2009
Mixed media on panel
12 x 12 in
Mother of the Sign, 2009
Mixed media on panel
12 x 12 in
Seraphim, 2009
Mixed media on panel
12 x 12 in

Christina Saj is a contemporary artist whose work is rooted in traditional byzantine icon painting, while providing a reflection of our modern culture. Born in upstate NY, of Ukrainian heritage she grew up surrounded by colorful traditions which informed her understanding and appreciation of art. Early in her career, she mastered the technique of Byzantine Icon painting, under the tutelage of the noted Ukrainian iconographer Petro Cholodny, the Younger. This traditional influence was balanced by simultaneous work with contemporary artists in New York City. 

The juxtaposition of influences created a tension which holds her attention to this day. Saj's work bridges the disparate aspects of ancient and modern in order to create fresh interpretations of traditional themes and subjects. She actively explores a variety of media including works on paper, glass metal and wood, although primarily in two dimension. Her contemporary renditions of icons have been widely exhibited including such venues as the Museum of Biblical Art in NY, Union Theological Seminary, The Ukrainian Museum in New York, Museum of Cultural Heritage, Kiev Ukraine, the American Embassy in Qatar as well as at the White House. Her works reside in private and museum collections in the US and abroad. In recent years the work has been published widely, especially in spiritual contexts. Saj holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Bard College. She has had the privilege to study abroad at Oxford University in England as well as in Florence Italy. 

Artist Statement:

As an artist who paints icons, I come to making art with an appreciation & love of ancient symbols. My aim is to reintroduce and explore these time honored images by using and interpreting them in ways which allow them to be familiar, while making them meaningful and engaging for viewers today. I am not interested in reproducing traditional examples but rather wish to imbue modern creations that reflect their time with the spirit of tradition and an understanding of history.

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