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Banksy first created Bomb Hugger in 2003, which was published by Pictures on Walls in London as a limited edition of prints. A similar depiction was found on a wall in London’s East End. In a 2007 Sotheby’s auction the work gained publicity when it fetched 31,200.
In this stenciled work a young, innocent girl with a ponytail and a short dress is hugging a large bomb of a type that is dropped by military airplanes. Banksy thus uses this ironic juxtaposition to emphasize the true nature of war, as opposed to the rhetoric from the media and politicians. The girl represents purity whereas the bomb, which symbolizes war, represents destruction and evil. Banksy thus challenges the press and politicians who portray warfare in a positive light, in suggesting it is the proper course of action to promote freedom, democracy and peace against forces of tyranny and human repression. Such contradictory rhetoric obscures the darker motives of war, such as greed, power and domination. Banksy also suggests that the forces of love and peace may overwhelm the forces of evil and hatred and ultimately triumph.