In her latest series, 24-Hour Booth, Spanish artist Cristina BanBan was inspired by the people and non-stop nature of New York City, following a two-month residency there.
"I dipped myself into the extravaganza and mishmash of this urban mass," she explains. "I looked closely to people, made friends, talked to strangers, danced, ate and drunk in as many different places I could, always trying to follow that restless blast of energy that this city brings."
The name for the collection of works is borrowed from the MTA's subterranean subway signage – that's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, if you didn't know – and represents BanBan’s approach to capturing the multifaceted nature of New York, sourcing imagery and iconography from snapshots of the city, itself a non-stop parade of exhibitionism and vivacity.
In each of the paintings, which are currently being exhibited at New York's 1969 Gallery, BanBan chronicles the assorted denizens of New York’s bustling urban landscape. Bold two-dimensional portraiture gives way to a personal narrative that expresses the confessions of its subjects, imbuing the quotidian and mundane with a certain intrigue and humanity that would otherwise be missed by locals when surveying everyday life in the city.
'Soft Care', a large-scale acrylic painting, features a woman hung over a bodega counter, one hand draped over a credit card machine, and the other pulling a strand of blue chewing gum from her red lips, twisting it around her finger. “J or M to Lorimer” depicts dozing straphangers, bodies piled high, with their limbs intimately intertwined.
Born in 1987 in Barcelona, artist Cristina BanBan now lives and works in London. She obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona in 2010 and was recently awarded the Arts Club Prize from the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Discover more at www.cristinabanban.com.