Location: Waterloo Bridge, South Bank, London, England
Girl with Balloon appeared for the first time as a mural on Waterloo Bridge, in South Bank, London. This striking visual was accompanied by the quotation “There is always hope”.
Girl With Balloon is perhaps Banksy’s most notable and iconic work, demonstrating the graffiti stencil technique he has become renowned for. A 2017 public poll ranked Girl with Balloon as the UK’s number one favorite artwork.
The work depicts a young girl, whose hair and dress are blowing in the wind, reaching for (or releasing) a red, heart-shaped balloon that has slipped from her grasp. The red balloon, as the only spot of color, is an archetypal symbol of childhood and freedom many of us connect with. More than a simple child’s toy, it evokes fragility of what it stands for: innocence, dreams, hope and love.
Well loved by the public and collectors alike, her heartbreaking gesture reaches out to all of us making this one of the most recognizable artworks of the 21st century.