The week before Valentines Day an enchanting stencil mural popped up on the side of a house in the Barton Hill area of Bristol. A little girl fires a slingshot into the air, causing an explosion of plastic flowers over her head.
The work had all the hallmarks of a Banksy original, but with stencil art a common sight on the streets of Bristol, fans of the artist had to wait for official confirmation. This arrived through the usual channels: An image of the mural added to Banksys official Instagram account.
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Fans and critics, as usual, are deep into deciphering the hidden meanings in this latest piece of social commentary. Aside from the obvious nod to Valentines day, the young girl fires a slingshot, traditionally symbolic of a naughty boy in childhood, now empowered to a little girl. The striking red flowers exploding: a symbol of broken hearts? war over love? Banksys famous red balloon girl bursting her lost balloon? Some have speculated it has a connection to the houses owner who has suffered his own personal tragedy and the mural was painted on his birthday.
Whatever your opinion, the great thing about every Banksy piece is its powerful simplicity and the ability to create a massive global discussion. Love it or hate it, we know for sure Banksy is unique in the contemporary art world
Let us know how you interpret this latest piece in the comments section below.