Banksy Girl With Balloon Screenprint MyArtBroker

Girl With Balloon Banksy

Balloon Girl, or Girl With Balloon, is one of Banksy’s most notable works, demonstrating the graffiti stencil technique Banksy has become renowned for the world over. The work was released as an unsigned and signed print in 2004/2005; its relatively low edition size contributes to its desirability, there are just 150 Girl With Balloon signed prints, and 600 unsigned. It is perhaps the most sought-after image for Banksy collectors, old and new.

The work depicts a young girl, whose hair and dress are blowing in the wind, reaching for, or releasing, a red, heart-shaped balloon that has slipped from her grasp, flying out of reach. The red balloon is an archetypal symbol many of us connect with, as the only spot of colour in the work, more than a child’s toy, the red balloon evokes fragility of what it stands for: innocence, dreams, hope and love. Whether you see the girl as losing the balloon, or about to catch it, the meaning can be interpreted as a loss of innocence, or the arrival of hope and love.

This work, which was accompanied by a quotation that read, ‘there is always hope’ originally appeared in London’s Southbank; though the city council ordered the work to be painted over. Girl With Balloon has grown to become one of Banksy’s most iconic works, as such Banksy produced it again in a new context – a miniature version appeared on the cardboard backing of a cheap Ikea frame which quickly made its mark on the art market when it realised £73,250 at a sale at Bonhams in 2012.

Another version of the stencil painted in Shoreditch, near Liverpool Street station, sparked outrage when the owners of a shop proposed to peel it off the wall and send the work straight to auction. After 10 years hidden behind a billboard, it was removed in February 2014 by the Sincura Group who were responsible for the removal of Banksy’s mural Slave Labour in North London a year before. It was exhibited at the exhibition, “Stealing Banksy?” and then sold.

In March 2014, Banksy reworked the, by then, extremely high profile work to mark the third anniversary of the civil war in Syria. The redesigned image was used to promote #withsyria, a campaign to raise awareness and rally support for the victims of the three-year-long conflict. The campaign denounces ‘years of brutality and bloodshed that have turned Syria into the epicentre of a massive humanitarian crisis’. In this version the Girl With Balloon appeared with a headscarf to depict a Syrian refugee.

 

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