A Short Biography of Christine Knize, of Faux by Christine
Celebrating over 30 Years as a Faux Artist
I am one of those few people that truly enjoys what they do for a living. Since I was a child I always knew that I was going to be an artist. I come from a long line of artists and have been immersed in it all my life. I was fortunate enough to have parents who believed that an education included exposure to the "old country" and they took me on trips to Europe and sent me there to study my craft.
I studied painting in Rome at The Tyler School of Art for 2 years. This was bar none the most inspirational period in my life. It was there that I became infatuated with anything Italian; the art, architecture, food, etc. I was especially touched by Pompeii with it's beautifully preserved frescoes near Naples, and the little picturesque towns of Tuscany. From there I attended The Rhode Island School of Design for my Master's of Fine Arts, majoring in painting and photography. After grad school I moved to New York City. I rented a loft in Tribeca, in downtown Manhattan, ten blocks north of the Twin Towers. I dabbled in the photo-retouching industry, working on large slides for the advertising trade making people's imperfections disappear and also worked for the garment industry on Seventh Avenue, painting color variations for fabric production in the Orient. In 1986, I visited Miami for a seminar on digital photo-retouching and discovered that I could not resist the tropics. Within a month, I moved to Miami. That is when I discovered that I wanted to start my own business.
I enrolled in Joann Day's two-week faux finishing course in New York City. At the time, nobody knew what faux finishing was, including me. I took the course and became a faux painter. I found a partner and we started a company called Faux Finishes, Inc. In the beginning we had to educate our clients on the virtues of faux finishes and our first jobs were mostly general painting jobs with maybe a bathroom or two using a faux treatment. We worked mostly on Miami Beach, taking part in the initial Art Deco Hotel renovations in the '80's. Soon, faux finishing spread like wildfire and the phones were ringing off the hook with people that wanted their homes done with this new technique that replaced wallpaper. We started to get booked up for months in advance. We worked together for about five years, dissolving the company in 1991. Immediately afterwards I opened Faux by Christine, Inc. Over the following years, I worked for various designers who contracted me to do faux work for their clients, of which many were
celebrities or well-known places. To name a few: Oprah, Alonzo Mourning, Butch Davis, Andre Dawson, the Bob Marley family in Miami and in the Bahamas, the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Escopazzo Restaurant on Miami Beach, Levison's jewelry store in Coconut Grove, Carnival Cruise Line's Micky Arison, David Brinkley's house in Houston and his residence on Miami Beach, Normans Restaurant in Coral Gables, Luis Miguel's office, Jeff Gordon's 21,000 sf house in Delray, August Coppola's historic home in Savannah, Ga., the Jelinski residence on Indian Creek Island and Spillis and Candela's Barnett Bank Project in Jacksonville, among others. I count myself extremely lucky to have had so many wonderful clients and worked for such great designers in my faux business. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing.