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Nola (Red), 2008


Nola (Red), 2008
Stencil spray-paint and emulsion on canvas
148×102 cm (58 1/4 x 40 3/16 inches)
Signed “BANKSY” in ink, lower right
Bonhams London: 13 April 2011
GBP 55,200 / USD 73,513

Nola, also known as Umbrella Girl, first appeared as a piece of graffiti in 2008 on a wall in New Orleans, referencing Hurricane Katrina that left the city in devastation not long before. Rendered in Banksy’s classic graffiti-spray-stencil style, it shows a young girl in a dress in black and white, beneath a black umbrella, holding her other hand out to feel the rain that is pouring down.
However, in one of Banksy’s characteristic twists, the pouring rain paradoxically appears from within the canopy of the umbrella itself. The girl tentatively extends a cupped hand in obvious confusion, only to find that the umbrella is, in fact, the source of the downpour, as opposed to offering protection from it. In an interview, Banksy said that the artwork represents “how some of the things that are supposed to protect us, can also harm us.”