Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower) Banksy
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Love Is In The Air, also known as the Flower Thrower or LIITA, first appeared in 2003 as a large format stencilled graffiti in Bethlehem shortly after the construction of the West Bank Wall. The graffiti was made on the 760km wall that separates Palestine from Israel.
Spanning 760km, the wall, as Banksy put it, “essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison”. The wall rapidly became a giant canvas for paintings and writings protesting against 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 signature stencilled 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.
Here, however, the artist adds an inevitable twist, placing a bunch of flowers into the thrower’s hand. 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.
Why is Love Is In the Air important?
Love Is In The Air is undoubtedly one of Banksy’s most iconic and most sought-after works of art, and it has been reproduced on posters, phone covers, T-shirts and other merchandise all over the world.
The image also featured on the cover of Banksy’s famous autobiography Wall and Piece in 2005. Since its creation, the artist has created several versions of the stencil on canvas, and it was released as a print on the red background with an edition of 150 signed prints and 500 unsigned prints.
Why we love Love Is In The Air... ‘The image exemplifies both Banksy's formal artistic style as well as his powerful political activism, reminiscent of images from the 1960s campus and street riots that rocked the United States and the United Kingdom during the Vietnam War. It represents a call for peace, delivered with the same explosive force as a grenade. Originally painted in a conflict-ridden area in Jerusalem, the mural directly addressed the authorities in Banksy’s campaign for peace in the city. The figure of the flower throwing protestor adopts a stand against the violence of war.’ - Joe Syer
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