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Girl with Balloon

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Artist: Banksy Width: 50 cm
Support: Paper Height: 66 cm
9 view in this moment



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Banksy - Girl with Balloon - Screen Print on Paper - Unsigned

The work by Banksy Girl with Balloon, also known as Balloon Girl, is a 2004 screen print on paper in limited edition of 600 pieces provided with Pest Control certificate of authenticity.

It is the most iconic image in Banksy's art. The little girl with a balloon has left a mark on mass culture like few other artworks in history. Since its first appearance, the work has been reproduced and shared all over the world, communicating a strong message to both the art world and the general public.

The work by Banksy Balloon Girl represents the black stencil silhouette of a young girl reaching for a red heart-shaped balloon that flies away.

The silkscreen print measures 66x50 cm and is numbered and unsigned. It belongs to an edition of 750 pieces in total of which 600 are unsigned and 150 are signed. The Pest Control certificate of authenticity, the only one valid and recognised by the artist, guarantees that the work is original.

This version has the heart in red, the most iconic coloration faithful to the original mural. It also exists in pink, purple, gold and blue.

Banksy Balloon Girl: Meaning and Interpretation

In Banksy Balloon Girl, meaning and interpretation are partially left to the viewer who is free to find new and unexpected readings in the work. The image is poetic and evocative and expresses an image of existential loneliness.

For many people, the artwork is about hope, as suggested by the motto that accompanied the first version of the girl with the balloon: 'There is always hope'.

The balloon, whether the girl tries to catch it or lets it fly away, symbolises innocence. According to some people, it is the arrival of new hope or love; for others, it is childhood innocence flying away, marking the beginning of adolescence and adulthood for the girl: Banksy thus manages to make the girl with the red balloon open to different interpretations.

Girl with Balloon: from Graffiti to Screen Print

First appearing as a work of graffiti, Girl with Balloon will feature in several of Banksy's works.

It first appeared in 2002 when the artist created the now unmistakable Balloon Girl on a wall in London's Southbank district. This first stencil version featured the bright red balloon and was accompanied by the motto “There is always hope”.

An initial series of 25 screen prints was produced in 2003, followed in 2004/2005 by the 750-piece series (600 unsigned and 150 signed) of which this work is a part.

Variations that appeared in the following years include:

  • Balloon Debate: created in 2005 as a mural on the Israeli barrier in the West Bank. It shows the little girl holding onto balloons lifting her upwards.
  • A 2014 revival that redraws the little girl as a Syrian refugee, reflecting on the geopolitical situation in Syria.
  • A 2017 version with the colours of the Union Jack flag in the balloon to affirm the artist’s opposition to the Tory party.

The “shredded” Balloon Girl

Banksy's Balloon Girl recently starred in something as unique as it is rare. A 2006 version in spray and acrylic on canvas was auctioned in 2018: as soon as the gavel dropped, a mechanism installed in the frame began to shred the work, stopping halfway through.

Thus was born Love Is in the Bin (as it was renamed by Pest Control), a new artwork between a painting and performance art that represents a provocative critique of the art market.

The new Balloon Girl sold for £16 million in 2021, setting a new record for the street artist Banksy.

Banksy, Girl with Balloon: Prices and Value

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