Story at a glance

  • A new graffiti work appeared on the side of a house in Bristol on the day before Valentine’s Day.
  • At midnight on Feb. 14, Banksy confirmed the work was theirs with a post on Instagram.
  • The image of a girl firing red flowers from a catapult is being called the Valentine's Banksy.

Even Banksy loves love. The anonymous artist, known for their satirical and subversive graffiti, gave the residents of Bristol, England, a Valentine's day installation.

The work appeared on the side of a house on Marsh Lane in Barton Hill on Feb. 13. At first, it wasn't clear who had created the graffiti stencil of a girl using a catapult to launch red flowers made with spray-painted ivy. 

The rumors that it was a Banksy were confirmed at midnight on Valentine’s Day with an Instagram post from the artist. 

The post wasn't captioned, but garnered hundreds of comments and over a million likes by mid-day. 

But even Banksy's fame can't protect their public works. Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the house, told BBC the art wasn't even up for 24 hours before a protective plastic screen placed over it was vandalized and flowers placed on the road sign as part of the work were stolen. The family contacted Bristol City Council's street maintenance department, which told them to get in touch with the International Fine Art Conservation Studios for help. 

"As it's Valentine's Day, it's really special and to have it in 3D with the flowers is incredible," Woodruff told BBC. 

And as Storm Dennis approaches the UK, Woodruff is determined to protect the work of art, and love.

Published on Feb 14, 2020