One of Banksy’s earliest and most daringly political screen prints, Bomb Hugger was released as a signed edition of 150 and unsigned edition of 600 in 2003. Additionally, there are 44 signed artist’s proofs.
Amongst Banksy’s most desirable prints currently on the market, this striking image depicts a young girl hugging a bomb to her chest as if it were a toy. It’s shocking symbolism and bold contrast of innocence and violence is highly impactful. The large bomb evokes a sinister and jarring effect in the arms of the little girl, with the bright pink background only adding to the stark juxtaposition of childlike innocence and military aggression.
The artwork can be read as a testament to Banksy’s ongoing critique of contemporary Western society’s paradoxical relationship to warfare and its entanglement with large corporations that sell weapons ‘like toys’. A more positive reading, however, could see the child as a symbol of love and hope as the means to overcome violence and war within a brighter future yet to come, as encapsulated in other famous works such as Girl With Balloon.