"It’s funny," Cristina BanBan told us in her Winter 2023 cover story, "I don’t have a clear memory of me playing with toys, but I do remember always drawing and carrying a sketchbook and crayons wherever I went with my parents." Though just a simple anecdote to what has become a significant art career, when you consider the subject matter of BanBan's paintings, self-portraits and the self as muse as well as a small group of friends, you sort of get the idea that she has kept a very insular process to her craft. It's personal and hers. And as she opened La Matrona at Skarstedt London last week, a city she used to call home, the Spanish-born now NYC-based artist seems to be hitting her stride as to how the body, hers and others, can begin to reform and be reimagined when used as a singular subject. They feel more universal and somehow more personal. 

As the gallery notes, "While BanBan uses both herself and her friends as models for her paintings, the works on view in La Matrona transcend the specificity of any one individual. Although their eyes are notably left unfinished, they do maintain certain elements of their source, yet who they are is ultimately less important than what they represent: the very notion of sisterhood itself, women supporting women in literal and figurative ways, symbolic channelers of strength and wisdom carried down from one generation to the next—matronas in every sense of the word." 

What I have always loved about BanBan's works are that she feels like she has surrounded herself with a team of characters that are infinitely interesting. The symbolism never tires, and as she paints more and more of herself it becomes more and more fascinating as to what she will become. It's her moment, and it's a moment to watch. —Evan Pricco