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Love Hurts


One of Banksy’s more colourful pieces of art, this piece depicts a heart-shaped balloon which is tangled in barbed wire and sports a plaster in the top corner. By deliberately placing an item as fragile as a balloon in the midst of a sharp and overtly dangerous setting, Banksy is making a comment on the fragility of the heart, and how love hurts – both literally and metaphorically. 

There are a number of different ways that this piece of art can be read and interpreted, but for the most part, this is one of Banksy’s softer works which uses colour and metaphorical imagery to portray a deeper meaning. 


Medium: Screen Print
Format: Unsigned Print
Year: 2006
Size: H 80cm x W 122cm
Framing details: Framed with glass
Edition size: 500
Signed: No
Condition: Excellent
Provenance: Pest Control COA


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The Story Behind Banksy’s ‘Love Hurts’

Love is a theme which underpins much of Banksy’s work, with Banksy buyers constantly finding themes of both love and hurt in many of his different pieces – even those without a direct connection or visual link to emotion. 

This particular piece symbolises love in a very clear cut and visual way – however the heart balloon is wounded, has been patched over already, and is sitting very close to the barbed wire which could easily rip it to shreds. What this immediately does is show that love is entangled in the very danger which could cause it to burst – depicting the fragility of the human heart, human emotion, and connection. 

And that’s not all it symbolises. Clearly having broken free from the person who once owned it, this heart is striving and reaching for freedom and has become tangled and stuck in a bid to live freely – encapsulating and symbolising the concept that society is not free and has, like the balloon, become trapped by danger.

The History of this Piece

Banksy’s Love Hurts was first seen at Art in the Streets which was a private residency in New York, only open to the artist’s friends and closest connections. The public was never invited to view this collection, however, the Love Hurts piece was fast introduced to the main street art circuit in various formats – from prints to wall murals. 

There are also reworked versions of this original print which show the same balloon without the ties of the barbed wire but instead covered in a multitude of bandages and plasters – indicating greater hurt alongside the persistency of the central heart in picking itself up, bandaging its wounds, and carrying on. 

What Love Hurts represents is the fragility but persistence of love at its very core – both literally and metaphorically.

Sell your Banksy ‘Love Hurts’

This Banksy Love Hurts print is an unsigned original, popular with Banksy buyers for its softer aesthetic, vibrant colour palette, and various interpretations and underlying messages. For a formal valuation on your own Banksy Love Hurts, and to ensure that you get the best possible price at auction or through a direct resale, make sure that you contact and engage and service of a professional Banksy valuation agency like Zero Percent.

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