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Work / Art

Artist Cristina BanBan reveals our endless need for distraction

We’ve long championed the work of artist Cristina BanBan, whose bold, two dimensional portraits have been recently fleshed out into a more shapely approach, switching the fine lines of paintbrushes brushes for a more impressionistic kit of spray paints. “I believe my paintings are getting more precise in terms of the technique and style and also the narrative,” Cristina says. “I always work from my imagination but I am pushing more and more to bring detail and character to each subject. I get a stronger sense of the back-story for each character and this is coming through more in the work. My colour palette is bright, matching the boldness of the figures. I’m still interested in exaggerating.”

Cristina’s latest work will be exhibited alongside paintings by Dominic Dispirito this week in Candy at The Dot Project Gallery, London. “I think that Dominic and I are taking risks in pushing figurative painting through our own way and with different skills but each having these characters as a main element in our paintings in order to create a narrative,” Cristina considers. “I also think that we both have a sense of humour or naivety in our paintings.”

Despite their cartoon-like appearance _Candy_’s cast of characters find realness in apparently bottomless boredom, reflecting our own ineffectual multi-tasking. “Characters are the vehicle that allows me to generate contemporary commentaries about fashion, judgement, and gender,” Cristina says. “There is no definitive physical representation of myself however these paintings are about manifesting a certain emotion or experience of mine: to love, to care, to be concerned. I would say there is a combined interest in the personal and collective stories.”

In one painting, a couple caress in bed, but they are distracted, clutching TV remotes and snacks and staring into the mid distance. In another picture a woman simultaneously shaves her legs, brushes her teeth and attempts a card payment over the phone revealing our restlessness. The mundane, Cristina says, is a metaphor. “Let’s say in Cash Only a group of teenagers are waiting for a takeaway but there is more going on if you look closely at each individual. The girl in the middle is looking into the infinite, maybe worrying or concerned about her future while her friend is trying to engage her in some banal conversation. The girl on the right is clearly not connected with the others as she prefers to dive into her own micro cosmos/reality. Of course this is kind of common but also very human, how all our interactions are affected by our attention or distractions.”

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Cristina BanBan

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Cristina BanBan

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Cristina BanBan

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Cristina BanBan

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Cristina BanBan

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Cristina BanBan