Work / Art

Cristina BanBan’s layered paintings are inspired by the people around her

Artist Cristina BanBan depicts large human figures to tell personal stories by interweaving layers of colour and textures. “I work intensely in short periods of time so I guess my brushstrokes are rather energetic,” says Barcelona-born, London-based Cristina. “I also use lots of paint and strong contrast between the colours I choose. Through an intrinsic vocabulary of forms and iconography I talk about a feeling of a moment in life.”

We featured Cristina last summer for her series of paintings that referenced her native Spain with elements of London, her new home. The colour palettes are similar but in these new paintings Cristina’s approach seems more expressive and spontaneous creating big swathes of bright hues on the canvas.

“I mostly paint people doing things, sometimes in situations that are also familiar to me, stressing the subjectivity of personal experiences. When I don’t use figures to narrate a story, you can find mundane objects and street scenarios in my paintings,” explains Cristina. “I feel inspired by daily life and the act of painting itself. I also like talking to people and reading the news as I translate into paintings any sort of personal struggle, difficult economy or social status.”

The stories behind a lot of her works come from real conversations so before starting a painting she sketches her ideas on a scrap of paper and then draws a couple of lines on the canvas to help her think of the composition. “What most often happens is that I don’t follow my own guidelines and everything changes but this is the starting point for me. I work on different layers of paint through an additive and substrate process until I feel the image is completed,” she says. Cristina paints mostly with acrylics as it allows her to add different textures to the works, and with it drying so quickly it allows the artist to move onto other elements of the painting swiftly.


Cristina BanBan: Portrait


Cristina BanBan: The Barrio Jumble


Cristina BanBan: Friday Night In


Cristina BanBan: Pepperoni


Cristina BanBan: Rice for Dinner


Cristina BanBan: Flowers