Miami Is A Beach: Cristina BanBan's New Work as Part of 3-Person Show @ 1969 Gallery, NYC
If we can't go to Miami, let's make a little Miami come to us. In our heads at least. Cristina BanBan has been one of our favorite emerging artists over the past few years, and her work in the new group show, Miami is a Beach, a 3-day show alongside María Fragoso and Jarrett Key, at 1969 Gallery is some of her strongest to date. The angles are stronger, the colors bolder, the shapes a more distinct with a newfound depth in each setting that exemplifies our new domesticity.
"Our original intent was to bring new works by the trio to the art fairs in Miami in December," 1969 Gallery notes. "All three locked themselves down into studios with that aim, not necessarily in the city of their choosing. Artists may be our original social distancers but only by will, not imposition. They also miss family and normal daily living. The pandemic has edited so much...". Even as artists and events continue to go on in South Beach in the midst of a new blitz of COVID, albeit in smaller doses, Miami itself has become a mere idea this year, an almost an imagined concept that doesn't need to exist as it once was. Dreaming of our normal ritualistic behavior really sums up what 2020 has become.
For BanBan, the 33 year-old Spanish-born artist now based in Brooklyn, her characters feel lonely and nearly frozen in thought. Yet what stands out is that each seems to be enraptured by imagination, as if they have created an entire universe in their minds. That they now exist in these new domestic situations is relatable, and you can almost feel a palpable "what if" on their faces. —Evan Pricco