It’s not unusual to see Erik Skolberg’s artwork hanging in high-end homes around the world (not to mention corporate spaces worldwide), where collectors continue to embrace his contemporary style and burgeoning lifestyle brand. Most recently, it was a Watermill manse in The Hamptons that put his wares on display. Skoldberg had been chosen to host and curate the art for Hamptons magazine’s U.S. Open Kickoff Party with golf champion and cover star Bubba Watson—one of the artist’s many collaborations with the magazine during a busy summer. The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program caught up with Skoldberg to find out more about his packed summer, his enduring style, and why his work is connecting with everyone from art aficionados to interior designers.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist? Did you ever envision being here: a darling of collectors?
Erik Skolberg: My mother had a paintbrush in my hand since my childhood. She was an art teacher, and growing up in an environment of creativity and expression was crucial to my growth as an artist. I did not plan for a career in art; I always assumed I would end up in business and even went to school for business. Art was an outlet for me and when I finally began showing my work, it took a direction that I had never expected. My large-scale work quickly stood out as the perfect complement to corporate spaces. As collectors found more interest, I found myself becoming more and more immersed in my art, showing with my first gallery more than 10 years ago.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: How has your style or technique changed over the years?
Erik Skolberg: I have always thought big. My scale has been large and always done with acrylic on canvas. With that said, my work has evolved with my Icon Collection and Pop Collection, incorporating mixed media. Growing up as a surfer in Southern California, I work with the best surfboard shapers in the world and identified that surfboards are also the perfect canvas for my work.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: Your artwork has taken off in numerous luxury markets across the country and around the world. What would you say has contributed most to your success in these areas?
Erik Skolberg: I would say that my relationships are everything; they’re my currency. The collaborations that I have done with luxury brands have brought tremendous exposure to my work in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and across the globe.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: How did you start working with interior designers to showcase your work?
Erik Skolberg: I am always open to new ways to market my work, such as staging homes, retail collaborations, luxury showrooms, and events. My pillow collection has also been a great introduction to these markets. The pillows are European-size and use Sunbrella fabrics, customized with the art from any of my paintings.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: You’ve been spending a lot of time in The Hamptons this summer. Can you give us some details about what you’ve been doing there?
Erik Skolberg: I have done multiple collaborations with Hamptons magazine throughout the Summer, including being featured as “Reigning Man of The Hamptons, and, most recently, my surfboard collection for UNICEF, which has done particularly well from Montauk to Miami. I feel fortunate to have many collectors in The Hamptons as the energy of my pieces creates the perfect fit for this market. From Art Market Hamptons to my collaborations with Eleventy Milano and Hamptons magazine, the work has been very well received.
One of my favorite new collections is my Pop Collection, which includes a series of Ford Broncos with an actual Ford Bronco grill mounted to each piece, creating quite a conversation piece. I recently hosted the U.S. Open kickoff party with Bubba Watson and Hamptons magazine. As a golfer, I have focused on a golf icon collection and many of my collectors are on the PGA tour. I enjoy my art colliding with other hobbies.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: What would you say are the big trends in high-end art right now, and do you see them changing anytime soon?
Erik Skolberg: Collaborations are everything. I also work very closely with designers and collectors to customize pieces. I personally offer full installation and this level of service has greatly enhanced my business.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury: As an artist, how do you interpret and incorporate trends? Do you evolve, or do you essentially ignore trends and stay true to your style?
Erik Skolberg: I ride motorcycles, surf, golf, and love cars. Many of my collectors do as well. I find that when I am inspired, I create around these subjects. Collectors feel that energy and want to invest in my work. I have a signature style and that will never change but I am certainly open to a new addition to my signature style. I like to say my art is timeless, yet always evolving.