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Love Hurts, 2012


Love Hurts, 2012
Edition: 16 signed AP

“Love Hurts is obviously an iconic representation of the battle to survive a broken heart. It’s an uplifting visual poem to that most fragile of human emotions that seem to move within us as if on a soft breeze”.

Love Hurts depicts a red heart-shaped mylar balloon against a light blue monochromatic background. Appearing to have escaped its owner, the balloon has clearly taken some damage – as evidenced by the the pair of bandages near the top right. Now the balloon is trapped within a barbed wire fence.

Love, or the lack of it, is a theme that has preoccupied Banksy throughout his career.
As suggested by its title, this work evokes the power of love to inflict hurt and anguish as well as joy and pleasure. The fragility and vulnerability of human emotion is represented in the allegory of the balloon, which can be easily pierced and deflated. Conversely, the balloon also possesses the innate desire to break free and rise above its constraints – a natural resiliency. While at first glance the work appears straightforward, it in fact carries a poignant message.
Love Hurts was seen for the first time at Art in the Streets….
during Banksy’s New York residency Better Out Than In, exclusively for a selection of his friends and was never made available to the public. Over the course of his career Banksy has reworked this visual through many different media. In 2007, the image was installed as a painting in the artist’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine, a hotel with a permanent exhibition of Banksy’s works that overlooks the wall separating it from Israel. A similar balloon was also painted on the streets of Brooklyn during his New York residency, before it was defaced by rival graffiti artist Omar.


Love Hurts

Year: 2012
Medium: Screen-print and hand-finished watercolor on paper
Size: 68×70 cm (27 x 27 1/2 inches)
Publisher: Pictures on Walls


Total Edition: 16 signed AP
VIP Print never released to the public.