Girl and Balloon (Diptych)

Banksy

The best known version of Girl with Balloon, a graffiti work by Banksy, appeared on the side of a bridge on the South Bank in London in 2002 alongside the sprayed words There Is Always Hope. The image resonated with the public and soon became one of the most recognised artistic compositions in the country. In the same year, Banksy produced a limited edition of 25 paintings of the same subject in reverse, on cheap canvases purchased from an art supply shop. Prints, in a signed edition of 100 and unsigned edition of 600 followed in 2004. 

Out of the context of time, and with the sheer scale of its new-found familiarity, the subject is often now criticised as appearing mawkish and decorative. In the first few years of the millenium however there were few artists at work as anti-establishment as Banksy, whose creations were no less than a revelation to sections of a public otherwise completely uninterested in art and politics. The point of his graffiti has always been to deliver ridicule, in particular upon the government, through the creation of complex, direct and extremely succesful imagery. Although the composition has never been explained by the artist, it would be hard to imagine that it signified anything less than a heartless society, taking anything from anyone, in need of a reminder to change.

The present diptych edition was made in 2005, also painted on shop-bought canvases. There were to be no further editions on canvas. In the 15 years since the conception of the image it has become world-famous, and earlier this year was voted the UK's favourite work of art in an extensive survey by Samsung, polling ahead of Constable's Hay Wain, Gormley's Angel of the North and Hockney's, A Bigger Splash.

Artist
Banksy
Title
Girl and Balloon (Diptych)
Medium
Spray paint on canvas
Date
2005
Size
In 2 parts, each 11 7/8 x 11 7/8 in : 30.0 x 30.0 cm (11 7/8 x 23 3/4 in : 30.0 x 60.0 cm overall)
Edition
From the edition of 25, signed numbered and dated by the artist on the reverse
Further Signature
Sprayed with the tag on the side of the right hand canvas in red
Certification
Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Pest Control
Reference
A17-34
Status
No longer available

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