Banksy Trend Report Q2

Love
Is In The Air (Flower Thrower)

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Critical Review

Love is in the Air or Flower Thrower is one of the most popular Banksy prints, originally created in response to the construction of the West Bank wall in Bethlehem. The large-scale motif was stencilled onto the 760km wall that separates Palestine from Israel.

The wall, as Banksy put it, “essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison,” and it rapidly became a giant canvas for paintings and writings protesting its construction.

Banksy returned to the region in 2005 to paint a series of nine provocative works supporting freedom and equality. In 2015 he intervened again, painting four new pieces among the ruins of a bombed city with the intention of highlighting the plight of the people living in the Gaza Strip. In 2017, he opened the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, which boasts the ‘worst view in the world’.

Rendered in Banksy’s characteristic style, Love Is In The Air depicts a young man, dressed as a militant, wearing a baseball cap and a bandana to mask the lower half of his face, in the middle of throwing a grenade or molotov cocktail. However, in an inevitable Banksy twist, the artist places a bunch of flowers into the thrower’s hand instead. Despite the overt anger and aggression in his posture, the figure now prepares to launch a universal symbol of love and peace as opposed to a weapon.

10 Facts About Banksy’s Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower)

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) by Banksy - MyArtBroker

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) © Banksy 2003

1. Love Is In The Air is one of Banksy’s most iconic artworks

Love Is In The Air, also known as LIITA, Flower Thrower and Rage, Flower Thrower, rose to fame as the cover image of Banksy’s 2005 book, Wall And Piece. The artwork depicts a man dressed in black, wearing a backwards baseball cap and a bandana across his face, poised to throw an item. From the way he is dressed, the viewer first presumes he is about to throw a brick or a petrol bomb. The bundle in his hand, however, is a bouquet of flowers.

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) by Banksy - MyArtBroker

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) © Banksy 2003

2. What is the meaning of Banksy’s Love is in the Air?

The flower thrower in Love Is In The Air has become a recognisable motif for peaceful resistance, non-violent protest and the power of love over hate.

Flower Thrower Mural by Banksy

"Banksy - 'Rage, Flower Thrower'" © jensimon7 / Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) © Banksy 2003

3. Love Is In The Air first appeared as a mural on the West Bank Wall in 2003

The controversial barrier separating Palestine from Israel had been erected a year earlier, in 2002. “Palestine is now the world’s largest open-air prison and the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti artists,” Banksy later wrote. In addition to Love Is In The Air, Banksy has created over a dozen murals on the West Bank Wall in 10 years.

In 2017, Banksy returned to Bethlehem to open the Walled Off Hotel next to the West Bank Wall, which boasts the “worst view in the world”.

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) by Banksy - MyArtBroker

Love Is In The Air (flower thrower) © Banksy 2003