Arguably one of Banksy's most famous pieces, Girl With Balloon was originally painted on a gray wall in a London suburb, before the local city council ordered for it to be painted over. It depicts a little girl who has let go of her red, heart shaped balloon. There is also a quote engraved in a simple, clean font on the staircase wall to the right that reads, "THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE."
The painting is done in Banksy's characteristic black and white stencil, and the only colour is the bright red of the balloon floating in the wind. Set against a dull, gray suburbia background, the bright balloon is innocently evocative and draws the viewer in. A balloon is symbolic of many things, our dreams, our aspirations, our childhood innocence, and the heart shape may simply stand for love, hope, joy.
The painting clearly shows that the wind is blowing from behind the girl. Her dress and hair is blowing forward, and the balloon is floating away from the girl, with the string trailing behind. What isn't clear however is whether the little girl is reaching out and trying to catch it, or if she let it go and is watching it float away.
Banksy leaves it to you, the viewer to decide what the artwork means. Does it represent lost hope? Or does it represent a gift of hope and love released into the world with a child-like innocence? Maybe it symbolises that all the things we desire are just beyond our reach. Or that it is all within your grasp, you just need to reach out and grab it?
Regardless of whether Girl With Balloon represents a message of loss or potential redemption, Banksy gives us all the gift of hope by including the quote, “There is always hope”. This simple, yet iconic quote seems to perfectly tie in with the image of the innocent girl and her red, heart shaped balloon.
Although simple, it is an image that seems to draw the viewer in again and again. There is a timeless quality to Girl With Balloon, that seems to evoke our basic human needs and desires of love and hope.
Specialists in Banksy prints and urban art, Contemporary Art Trader can help you find your very own, authentic Girl With Balloon, signed or unsigned. For any queries you may have, contact us today.