Review of Banksy's Girl With A Balloon—Interpretation
By: David K. Montoya

Okay, so at this point, no one is believing (my self included) that I am stepping away from doing art reviews. At a very young age, I developed a love for art, as I grew up I was surrounded with family that were gifted in creating art. I was told that I myself, started drawing around four or five years old. Beyond the beauty that can be crafted in a multitude of different mediums, it is the stories that I find most fascinating. That has always been my approach to reviewing artwork, no matter the era—I look at the image laid out in front of me and I wonder: What is their tale? and What are you here to tell me?

Now, of course, I take proportion, anatomy and perspective into consideration when reviewing a piece of art. But, to me, understanding the story of what is being told is the key component to good art versus bad art. Then, sometimes, the story that the said masterpiece creates (like last month's Mobile Lover review) is what makes the medium more desirable.

Case in point is today's review. Again, I will tap into the mysterious world of Banksy, as we consider the story that his piece Girl With A Balloon was trying to tell, And then, we will talk about the true life story that this simple three colored composition created to escalate it to one of the most sought after fine art pieces of today.

Modern day artistic superstar, Banksy's Girl With A Balloon has become one of the most known creations attached to his name. In style it was very basic in terms of only being black, white with a splash of red and a small faded decree which proclaims, "There is always hope." Despite the simplicity, the artistic enigma developed an ingenuous statement that is shared with us the onlookers.

The child who was painted in only black and white and was rendered with almost no detail, which it opens for speculation to what the little girl signifies. The balloon, which was designed to be heart shaped splashes color, has been debated that it was the symbolic metaphor for hope as it is a bit of color in a cold dark world. So with that bit of knowledge we can move forward and interpret that Banksy's story is about a person trapped in a mundane black and white world, there will always be a tiny inkling of hope that will assist you (the person) through what ever struggle you are facing in the moment.

So what depicts this image with a child, you may ask—it is agreed among fans and critics alike, that Banksy made the human figure to be a child to represent innocence. Let me explain, do you remember as a child there seemed to be more excitable moments than you do as an adult? It's because our innocence fades and we become jaded as we grow older, so many believe that the artist was telling the onlooker to never let go of their own innocence in this mean and unforgiving world.

So, what do we know about this modern masterpiece? A couple years after the turn of the century (2002, to be exact), it turned up in London's West Bank—in a very Banksy introduction to the public, it was stenciled on a wall that was overlooked daily by foot traveling commuters. Many critics say that what makes this so gripping and memorable was the painting's ability to tell a full story in the matter of seconds. Even without noticing the basic four word sentence, people were able to see that the story presented to them was one of hope.

Though the technique forming the painting is rather basic, the artist allows room for spectators interpretation. The girl can be seen as A) losing her lovely red balloon or B) Seeing it flying by and attempting to catch it. It really depends on what kind of person you are (are you a glass half empty, or half full), with choice "A" which is losing the balloon is believed to be a metaphor that the child is losing her innocence. Viewpoint "B" is the complete opposite with the heart shape being the analogy for a person's heart's desire and attempting to seize the moments.

Whether you or with the A group of the B group, with is agreed that Banksy created a thought provoking piece

I believe that I will put a pin here, and say come back next issue as we continue our review of Banksy's Girl With A Balloon—Going to Auction.