Christina Skaggs grew up in New York with a deep appreciation for her alternate universes, the borough of Queens and the rural tip of Long Island — one offered a treasure of superb delicatessens and the other a treasure of old bones left buried in sand dunes.
Artistic success came early for Skaggs at The Dying Art, Woodstock, NY, where she dyed luxurious fabrics using an ancient process for clients such as Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, NYC. Then, in the early 70s, while working as a camera operator at WABC-TV in NYC, the network offered her a job at the ABC-TV Center in Los Angeles. Skaggs made the cross-country move, becoming one of the first ever female network TV camera operators, and winning an Emmy nomination for her work. After returning from an extensive trip through Europe in the early 80s, she created ten large porcelain marionettes that were later exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum in a two-woman show, Brazen Ladies. Subsequently, she was offered a variety of art director positions, ranging from designing windows on Rodeo Drive to set designing for MTV. During this time, Skaggs had the good fortune to study privately with the late master painter, Gilbert Batty, whose father and grandfather were painters and guilders in the rich and lavish halls of London at the turn of the 20th century.
Despite her Hollywood successes, Skaggs left her career midstream and in 1990 moved to the quiet serenity of a rainforest on the Big Island of Hawaii. There, she says, “I was able to strip away the inessential and so discover the process in which to paint that which I had only encountered in my own mind.” While on her quest, she served as President of the Hawaii Island Humane Society, “building empathy for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Her next decade was spent “uncovering the only thing I was ever meant for—the door that opened to the rest of my life.” One day, after a dead-end search to find an original piece of artwork for her home, Christina became determined to try her own hand at fine art; she walked through that open door and never looked back. Her first collection was exhibited in 2007 at a small island restaurant, where the sold out-show was reviewed in the Hawaii Tribune Herald as “the rarest of events; a unique experience.”
Last year, one of Skaggs’ distinctive paintings was selected by Dr. Maryam Ekhtiar, Associate Curator of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, for display at the 5th Annual Juried International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art, Dallas, Texas – a tremendous honor. Earlier in the year, James Jensen, Curator of Contemporary Art, Honolulu Museum of Art, selected Skaggs’ artwork for a National Centennial Exhibition at Schaefer International Gallery, Maui. Her paintings have been collected for exhibition at five-star resorts and hotels, other luxury commercial spaces, and high-end private homes throughout the world. Skaggs’ originality and technique continue to evolve far from the opposing landscapes of her childhood and the fast pace of her career in California in yet another alternate universe – from her quiet and beautiful rainforest studio where her singular artistry emerges to enchant and delight.