Confidence Is Queen in Cristina BanBan’s Characterful Paintings

“Exaggeration is my favourite kind of distortion.” Cristina BanBan’s figures are difficult to contain; lively, bodacious bodies which fill the canvas from side to side, overlapping, overspilling and, on first glance, having a wonderful time.


“I have received very positive responses and it is true that they make me smile and awaken feelings of joy,” the artist tells Elephant. “However, my intention is not to present an image of fun. The subjects I select are usually shown as very human with complex minds and restless feelings.”

There is a spontaneity to the artist’s use of line and form, a fluidity that gives a shape to the body without restraining it. “The subjects in my paintings are normally female, and being a woman I know women’s bodies better and don’t need a reference,” BanBan says. “I like manipulating and distorting the body. For instance, I will make giant hands if I need to create a tension in the painting or between characters or I might draw huge hips and legs to give confidence to a person I am representing… I have noticed that the way I depict women has had a positive impact. It has been received as a celebration of body confidence and I am happy to be involved in that conversation.”


This feature originally appeared in issue 36