One of the most recognizable of Banksy’s pieces, Love is in the Air first appeared in Jerusalem in 2003. Alongside print editions released by Banksy, there is also a 2006 version of this piece done on canvas with spray paint and oil. It has come to represent love and hope in environments that are overwhelmingly consumed by chaos, conflict and hatred. The protester wearing a mask is hurling into another space not a rock or Molotov Cocktail as expected but instead a bouquet of flowers.
Unlike the protesting youth, the flowers are not monochrome and the only colored object in the piece, making them stand out and gain thematic and visual significance. Taking some obvious liberty, one can go as far as to say that it is unanimously Banksy’s greatest work or at least the one with the most impact. The previous statement can be supported by the online debate on Banksy’s work and his reception amongst activists and civil society movements all around the world.
The major interpretation and the most organically available one (and one can try this subjectively), Love is in the Air stands most of all for not forgetting the phenomenally essential and effective nature of love and peace as a tool for change and a weapon for activism. By painting this on a wall in Jerusalem, Banksy also reminds us not to forget that there is hope even in places most torn by conflict and hatred.
However, it’s not just a sentimental idealism that Banksy has put creatively into a graffiti work. There is something philosophically significant about this piece; one could even say of spiritual relevance. Love is in the Air reminds us that love, peace and compassion are weapons too. Banksy wishes to ask if we remember what we are fighting for.
Love is in the Air can also be looked at from a slightly different angle. Is Banksy perhaps creating a narrative against the blind nature of military authority and occupation? Remember, here there is a protester, not a tank with flowers coming out of it or a Kalashnikov made of candy. In addition, the protester represents those fighting authority and occupation. In this piece, Banksy shows how the protester only wishes to present flowers and yet is seen as a threat and met with blind force on the other side.
Specialists in Banksy prints and urban art, Contemporary Art Trader can help you find your very own, authentic Love is in the Air, signed or unsigned. For any queries you may have, contact us today.