Banksy - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, June 29, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pest Control, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    This iconic Banksy work on canvas is an expression of the themes and motifs that have defined his career. A politically motivated graffiti artist plying his trade on the streets of Bristol, Banksy made a name for himself with a strong anti-establishment message delivered through dark and humorous imagery. Increasingly popular and increasingly serious, Banksy has brought street art into the gallery space, delivering the art form to a new audience.
    Soon after his first solo exhibition at the Los Angeles based 33 1/3 Gallery in 2002, Banksy created the ‘Love is in the Air’ stencil; it has since become one of his most recognisable icons. Originally spray painted on a wall off London’s Rivington Street, circa 2003, Banksy has reworked the stencil on a regular basis throughout his career. The image of a masked figure throwing a bouquet of flowers is thought to symbolise the action needed to bring about change; as Banksy has remarked, “If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask”.
    This rare appropriation of the original subject matter sees the stencil overlaid on a green-daubed canvas, and complimented by the running paint of the love heart in the background. It is an excellent example of one of Banksy’s most famed motifs, and an articulation of his impetuous political vision.

    “People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access”

  • Artist Biography


    British • 1975 - N/A

    Anonymous street artist Banksy first turned to graffiti as a miserable fourteen year old disillusioned with school. Inspired by the thriving graffiti community in his home city, Bristol, Banksy's works began appearing on trains and walls in 1993, and by 2001 his blocky, spray-painted works had cropped up all over the United Kingdom. Typically crafting his images with spray paint and cardboard stencils, Banksy is able to achieve a meticulous level of detail. His aesthetic is clean and instantly readable due to his knack for reducing complex political and social statements to simple visual elements.

    His graffiti, paintings and screenprints use whimsy and humour to satirically critique war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed — with not even the Royal family safe from his anti-establishment wit.

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Love is in the Air (AKA Flower Thrower)

spray paint on canvas
diamond: 84.5 x 84.5 cm (33 1/4 x 33 1/4 in.)
square: 60 x 60 cm (23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.)

Signed and dated 'BANKSY 2010' on the reverse. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control.

£150,000 - 200,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £134,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 30 June 2015 2pm