Christina Saj Artwork

Saj's paintings explore traditional iconic prototypes using modern vernacular. Her work instantly betrays a fascination with color and though not narrative in the traditional sense, it employs recognizable forms interlaced with rich surfaces of pattern and color. Her paintings attempt to dazzle and engage the viewer with their subject. For those versed in scripture, they have even more resonance. "Her style reflects both aspects of her training--a use of abstract form and color which draws on the heritage of early twentieth-century modern art, and the use of some of the forms, conventions and themes in icon painting. This combination is startling... Saj's great achievement is to create a kind of synthesis between these traditions, rather than simply borrow motifs or techniques of each."–-writes Rachel Nicholls, in her recent book Walking on Water which includes analysis of Saj's work specifically in relation to scripture. [Nicholls writes] "She has creatively combined two spiritual artistic traditions and through them expressed a Christian narrative in a way in which is neither kitsch pastiche nor nostalgic reference but a 'meant' religious symbol. It is an intriguing postmodern achievement that has broken the bounds of each tradition (an abstract painting with a figure in it, an icon without a face) yet preserved and combined something of the heart of them."

There is a rich history of depictions of the Virgin which provides ample area for exploration for iconographers, as is evidenced by the many types of Marian icons found throughout the world. It has evolved as a natural area of interest for Saj. Many of the works included in the exhibition explore these prototypes as well as narrative scenes associated with life of the Virgin and the life of Christ. Saj is especially interested in universal symbols associated with icons–-allowing them to be understood by a broader audience. Much of the ancient tradition is lost and understood only by devout believers and or experts. Saj is trained in traditional aspects of icon painting and does traditional works largely on commission for ceremonial use. Doing this work, she realized that often there are aspects of these traditions lost in translation. It is her assimilation of these techniques into a contemporary context that provide the root of her artistic exploration.

Angel Watch Over Me

Annunciation 

 Arch Angel

 Arch Angel Raphael

Angel Watch over Me 
5"h x 5"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2010

Annunciation 
18"h x 36"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2009

 Archangel 
14"h x 11"w
Mixed Media and
Metal Leaf on Panel
2009

  Archangel Raphael 
24"h x 18"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2005

 Coronation

 Crown of Thorns

 Crucifixion

 Crucifixion

  Coronation
16"h x 12"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2007 

 Crown of Thorns 
11"h x 14"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2010 

 Crucifixion with the
Virgin and St. John
 
14"h x 11"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2010 

 Crucifixion with
Virgin and St. John 
 
24"h x 24"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2009

 Dormition

 Easter

 Eternal Flame

 Golden Angel

 Dormition of the Virgin
14"h x 11"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2010

 Easter
30"h x 24"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2001

 Eternal Flame
10"h x 8"w
Egg Tempera and
Gold Leaf on Board
2005

Golden Angel
10"h x 8"w
Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel
2001

 Golgotha

 Grace

 Guardian Angel

 Hodegitria

 Golgotha
8"h x 8"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2009

 Grace
10"h x 8"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2009

 Guardian Angel
36"h x 24"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2008 

 Hodegitria
14"h x 11"w
Mixed Media and
Metal Leaf on Panel
2009 

 Holy City

 Holy Family

 Holy, Holy, Holy

 Hope

  Holy City
12"h x 12"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2008 

 Holy Family
24"h x 24"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Canvas
2009

 Holy, Holy, Holy
16"h x 12"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2005

 Hope
10"h x 8"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2009

 Invocation

 Madonna and Child

 Mother and Child

 Mother of The Sign

 Invocation
24"h x 18"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2001

 Madonna and Child
36"h x24"w
Oil on Wood Panel
2001

 Mother and Child
7"h x 5"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2007

 Mother of the Sign
12"h x 12"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2009

 Nativity  Our Lady of Guadalupe  Our Lady of the Sacred Heart  Protector
 Nativity 
20"h x 19"w
Oil & Gold Leaf
on Aluminum
2001
 Our Lady of Guadalupe
24"h x 12"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2010
 Our Lady of the
Sacred Heart

14"h x 11"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2010
  Protector 
8"h x 8"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2009
 Red Angel  Savior  Seraph  Seraphim
  Red Angel
10"h x 8"w
Egg Tempera and
Gold Leaf on Board
2005
  Savior
10"h x 8"w
Mixed Media on Panel
2009
 Seraph
24"h x 18"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2001
  Seraphim
8"h x 8"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
2009
 Saint John  Transfiguration  Virgin and Child Enthroned  
  St. John
16"h x 12"w
Oil on Panel
2000
 Transfiguration
20"h x 20"w
Mixed Media and
Gold Leaf on Panel
1999
Virgin and Child Enthroned
36"h x 24"w
Mixed Media on Canvas
2009
 

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