Love Hurts by Banksy

Love Hurts Banksy

Find out more about Banksy’s ‘Love Hurts’ series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Banksy’s Love Hurts, also known as Barbed Wire Heart Balloon, belongs to a prestigious collection of just 16 signed screen prints. This edition was released in 2002, during Banksy’s New York residency Better Out Than In, exclusively for a selection of his friends and was never made available to the public. Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, is rumoured to own an original Love Hurts canvas.

Over the course of his career Banksy has reworked the visual motif of the Love Hurts balloon in several different works. In 2007, the image was installed as a painting in the artist’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine, a hotel with a permanent exhibition of Banksy’s works that overlooks the wall separating it from Israel. A similar balloon was also painted on the streets of Brooklyn during his New York residency, before it was defaced by rival graffiti artist Omar.

Love Hurts is colourful, sophisticated and deceptively simple in its composition, depicting a red heart-shaped Mylar balloon against a light blue monochromatic background. Appearing to have escaped its owner, the wounded balloon, indicated by the pair of plasters on the top right, is now trapped within a barbed wire fence.

Banksy himself has explained that Love Hurts ‘is obviously an iconic representation of the battle to survive a broken heart. It’s an uplifting visual poem to that most fragile of human emotions that seem to move within us as if on a soft breeze’. Love, or the lack of it, is a theme that has preoccupied Banksy throughout his career.

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