Fish for Freedom

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Banksy’s Fish for Freedom first appeared in London, England. The chalkboard-like scene of the art piece creates the sensation of childhood artwork. Surrounded by homely, typical furnishings, two orange fish are among the only colored features of the print. One fish seems to have jumped out of its fish bowl in an attempt to leap into the portrait depicted above the hearth in the center of the print. The artist chose to depict the tropical scene in the portrait in color too. In the portrait a tiny island with a single palm tree seems to beckon to the jumping fish, a suggestion of a yearning for freedom from captivity.

Delving further into the initial impact of the piece, the casual viewer wonders why one fish chooses to jump while the other chooses to look in the other direction. The jumping fish puts his life fruitlessly in peril in his daring attempt to jump into the portrait. The portrait of a glum face resting on the mantle of the hearth suggests futility. The jumper is a fool to try to leap to free his bonds.

The most poignant place to display this print would be above a hearth. This placement would complement the scene of the art piece very well. Even the casual art lover would appreciate this choice of presentation. The overall impact of the print is a yearning for one’s true home, which suits displaying the print in a homely manner.

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