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Love Is In The Air, 2003

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Love Is In The Air, 2003
Edition: 500 (50 signed)

‘If you want to say something and have people listen,
then you have to wear a mask’

Love Is In The Air, also known as Flower Thrower or LIITA, depicts a young man, dressed as a militant, wearing a backwards baseball cap and a bandana to mask the lower half of his face. He is caught in the middle of throwing a bouquet of flowers as if it were a grenade or Molotov cocktail. Despite the apparent aggression in his posture, the figure is getting ready to launch a universal symbol of love and peace as opposed to a weapon. This print exemplifies both Banksy’s formal artistic style as well as his powerful political activism, as it represents a powerful call for peace.
Banksy, Wall and Piece, 2006
Typical of Banksy’s socially charged imagery, Love Is In The Air demonstrates the artist’s sustained interest in the absurdity of war, as well as the arbitrariness that can derive from unequal power dynamics. Indeed, while the spray-painted protagonist is armed with blooming plants and nothing else, the forces surrounding him seem to operate from heavier weaponry, placing him in a position of immediate danger.
Everywhere I Look Around (Barcode Love Is In The Air), Steve Lazarides, London
The first versions of Love Is In The Air Banksy did in London are long gone. The most well-known version was executed in 2003 as a large mural in Jerusalem shortly after the construction of the West Bank Wall, a 760km wall that separates Palestine from Israel. It is also featured on the cover of Banksy‘s book Wall and Piece.
Love Is In The Air, Bethlehem, Palestine
Reminiscent of late-1960s images of students protesting the Vietnam War, Love Is In The Air shows the figure of a young man leaning back with an arm stretched outwards, as if winding up to throw something aggressively. Yet, instead of being seized in an act of violence that one would assume involves a bomb or a grenade, Banksy’s subject carries a symbol for peace and beauty — a bouquet of flowers. Extracted from a presumably chaotic and violent context and standing alone, poetically resilient in a sea of nothingness, the man is disconcertingly removed from the situation of unrest that his movements and attire suggest.
An American Young Girl confronts the American National Guard during the 1967 anti-Vietnam March
Credit Photo: Marc Riboud / Magnum PhotosBanksy realized many originals featuring this iconic stencil, selling at record prices at public auction.

Love Is In The Air, 2005
Spray-paint and oil on canvas
90×90 cm (35 3/8 x 36 3/8 inches)
Sotheby’s New-York, 12 May 2021
USD 12,903,000
 

DESCRIPTION


Love Is In the Air, Flower Thrower, LIITA

Year: 2003
Medium: Screen-print in colors on wove paper
Size: 50×70 cm (19 3/4 x 27 1/2 inches)
Publisher: Pictures on Walls
 

Editions

Total Edition: 500 (of which 50 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 27 signed AP

Numbering and Signature

Numbered /500 in pencil, lower right
No publisher’s blindstamp
Signed in black pen lower right (not necessarily numbered under 50)

RELEASE HISTORY



Love Is In The Air
was released in 2003 as an edition of 500, out of which approximately 50 are signed (not always in order). Release prices were GBP 40 (unsigned), and GBP 80 (signed) back in 2003. 

 

Love Is In The Air is recognized as one of Banksy’s most iconic and most sought-after artworks, existing not only in the realm of fine arts but also as the graphically powerful subject of numerous commodified goods, including posters, phone covers, t-shirts and other types of merchandise all over the world.


AUCTION STATISTICS


Updated as of 31 December 2021


Auction Summary

 

 

1. Love Is In The Air (unsigned)


2021 Auction Statistics

2020 Auction Statistics

Love Is In the Air (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 321/500 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s London, 10 November 2021
 GBP 81,900 / USD 110,565
Love Is In the Air (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 231/500 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online, 18 March 2021

 GBP 214,200 / USD 297,738

2. Love Is In The Air (signed)

2021/2020 Auction Statistics

 

Love Is In the Air (Signed AP), 2003
Signed and dated in pencil, lower right
Inscribed AP in pencil, lower right
Christie’s online, 23 September 2021
 GBP 225,000 / USD 312,750
Love Is In the Air (signed), 2003
Signed and dated in black ink, lower right
Numbered 11/500 in pencil, lower right
Christie’s online, 1 April 2021

GBP 475,000 / USD 655,500

 

Love Is In the Air (signed AP), 2003
Signed and numbered “BANKSY AP/17” in pencil, lower right
Christie’s New-York, 3 December 2020
USD 687,500

 

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