Bomb Love, 2000
Stencil spray-paint on board
58.5 x 58.5 cm (23 1/16 x 23 1/16 inches)
Bonhams London: 5 February 2008
GBP 32,400 / USD 44,053
Bomb Love is one of Banksy’s most daring stencils, depicting a ponytailed young girl hugging a bomb as if it were a toy. The symbolism strikes as particularly shocking: the bomb, akin to that which one would see dropped from a bomber, evokes an imposing and sinister effect as it is hugged to the young girl’s chest.
This artwork encapsulates Banksy’s commentary on modern society’s affection for warfare, with bombs sold by the millions like toys. Banksy is posing a decisive challenge to the press and politicians through this artwork, who portray warfare as an essential part of “democracy”, attempting to justify its worthiness as a course of action to promote (or export) freedom, and peace. A more positive interpretation could be that Banksy is suggesting that the forces of love and peace can overcome the forces of violence.