Cristina BanBan - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “Painting is like keeping a diary — I take my own image as a starting point, and I develop what is most interesting to me.”
    — Cristina BanBan
    Lively and bodacious, the exaggerated figures that populate Spanish artist Cristina BanBan’s portraits are firmly centred on the female form. Rendered in fleshy hues, her protagonists fill her canvases with a fluidity that gives shape to their bodies without restraint. As BanBan explains, ‘the subjects in my paintings are normally female, and being a woman I know women’s bodies better and don’t need a reference. 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.’i


    Detail of the present work

    Executed in 2018 and presented in an exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde that same year, Carbonara Text showcases BanBan’s visual world at its best. Nodding to the artist’s interest in anime and expressionist aesthetics, in hues of beige and pink outlined by defining black line, the painting’s protagonist is depicted with voluptuous arms and thighs that balance out her daintier face with rosebud lips. Alluding to the work’s title, in one hand she holds a pink bowl of carbonara noodles, from which she has just swirled her next mouthful of pasta around a fork. Distracting her from this next bite, however, is the phone on the table that she has twisted around to see, which has perhaps pinged a notification alert through her overhead headphones. Blocks of blue, turquoise and pink surround the protagonist’s body, blending into both her clothes and the table in the foreground as figurative elements merge with subtle abstraction in a manner that recalls Willem de Kooning and Cecily Brown, all whilst maintaining their illustrative realism.


    Born and raised in Barcelona, BanBan graduated from the University of Barcelona in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since then, her repertoire has been widely exhibited in both group and solo shows across Europe, North America, and Asia, and acquired by the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. 

    Currently based in New York City, the artist is jointly represented by Skarstedt and Perrotin, and her most recent solo show recently opened at Skarstedt in New York on 3 November. Titled Cristina BanBan: Mujeres, it closes on 17 December 2022. 


    BanBan recently set her personal auction record with Phillips London with the sale of El Sueño Va Sobre El Tiempo, executed in 2019, which achieved an impressive 138,600 GBP Premium (183,115 USD) against pre auction estimates of 15,000 - 20,000 GBP (19,817 - 26,423 USD).


    i Cristina BanBan, quoted in ‘Confidence Is Queen in Cristina BanBan’s Characterful Paintings’, Elephant, 30 May 2019, online 

    • Provenance

      Kristin Hjellegjerde, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2018

    • Exhibited

      London, Kristin Hjellegjerde, Audun Alvestad & Cristina BanBan: Specially Normal, 29 March – 28 April 2018


Carbonara Text

signed with the artist's initials 'CB' lower right; further signed, titled and dated 'CRISTINA BANBAN ""CARBONARA TEXT"" 2018' on the reverse
acrylic and spray paint on canvas
150.2 x 120.3 cm. (59 1/8 x 47 3/8 in.)
Executed in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$504,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022