"Girl with Balloon"
Screenprint in colours, 2004. Numbered in pencil 400/600. Published by Pictures on Walls, London and with their blind stamp. S: 70 x 50 cm. This lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control Office.
Allmänna Galleriet 2004/2005, Stockholm.
Private collection, Stockholm (acquired from the above).
It is one of the most famous motifs of the anonymous street artist Banksy and is based on a stencil painting that first appeared on the streets of London in 2002 along with the message “There is always hope”. The “Girl with Balloon” from 2004 in the auction is, like much of Banksy’s art, ambiguous. It leaves the viewer to decide whether the girl in the image is trying to catch the balloon or if it has slipped from her hand and floated off.
Since the first “Girl with Balloon” Banksy has created several versions. Perhaps the best known are “Flying Balloon Girl” from 2005, painted on a West Bank wall in Palestine, and “Girl with Balloon – Syrian version” from 2014, where the girl is wearing a headscarf. Maybe the child metaphorically represents the never-ending hope for peace and the importance of chasing your dreams.
Banksy is a provocative artist who, through his street art, is transmitting a message to humanity. It seems that the more he takes sides the more his popularity rises. His latest feat is to finance a boat to rescue refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe. The boat is named Louise Michel after a French anarchist and features a Banksy artwork depicting a girl in a life vest stretching her hand out towards a pink heart-shaped safety buoy. The piece unmistakeably brings to mind the original “Girl with Balloon”.
Bukowskis has also been given the privilege in this autumn’s Contemporary Art & Design auction to sell two further artworks by Banksy.
Banksy is a pseudonym for an English anonymous street-art artist. He is considered one of the world's most popular and wellknown artists. His art usually comments on current events, politics and morality. One of his most popular motifs, "Girl with Balloon", a version on canvas sold at auction in 2018 for over £1 million, moments after selling it started to automatically self-destruct through a hidden shredding mechanism that had been placed in the frame by the artist years before. Making headlines the world over, appropriately renamed "Love is in the Bin" by Banksy afterwards, sold again in 2021 for £18.5 million.Read more