Thursday, 10 February 2011

Banksy and the Balloon Girl

Those of you familiar with Banksy's graffiti art will recognize this picture with ease. Balloon Girl has been one of my favourite pieces for quite some time now, and I was recently reminded of it when a friend posted it as her Facebook profile photo.

I love the simplicity and innocence of it. Every time I look at the picture, I consider two questions: is she embracing love? Or is love leaving her?

In one way she looks like she's reaching out and trying to grab the love balloon. Or at least willing it towards her. I imagine she's reaching out for love. If only it were that easy, huh? Wishing for love is clearly a different thing than actually having it.

It could also be that she has intentionally let go of the love balloon. Perhaps holding onto it became too painful. Maybe she feared that it would pop and fade to a million pieces if she held on to it too tightly, so she decided to let it go.

Another way of looking at it (and this is the hopeless optimist in me speaking), is that she filled the balloon up with all the love she had to give, and sent it out into the world for everyone else to share. Hmm... perhaps.

You know, as I sit here typing this, the image above cuts out just above her head, and it looks as though she's just reaching out into the air. I don't see the balloon. It seems like she's just reaching out for... something.

It's interesting, really. If you check out the actually graffiti of this image, you'll see a line that reads, 'There is always hope'. And I suppose that's what it comes down to, huh? I've always said hope fuels humanity, and if this simple image doesn't demonstrate just that, then I don't know what does.

Banksy's work intrigues me, and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way about it. I guess what's more fascinating is that no one really knows who he is. I adore that there's people like him in our world. They see things differently, and in some way, they also put life into perspective. They hold a mirror up to humanity and provide the reality checks we so often need.

Cheers, Banksy! You're a fascinating fellow.

Image courtesy of Google Images

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