Moco Museum Amsterdam has permanently added ‘Heart Boy’ – an important street piece by Street Art legend Banksy – to their collection. The piece, weighing over 2000 kg was installed in the garden in front of the museum and is open to the public free of charge. Never before a street piece of the activist artist was placed in Amsterdam.
The detached mural, measuring over 7 feet tall (2 meters) was originally created by Banksy in 2009 on the side of a building located at 27-30 Goswell Road in Islington, London, near Kings Cross Station. The mural shows a life-size young boy wielding a wet paintbrush, having just painted a large graffiti pink heart on a brick wall.The demolition of the building in 2009 initiated the removal and conservation of the mural, which has remained in the owner’s possession until now.
A variation of this finished work was considered so special to Banksy that he prominently featured it in his own book Wall and Piece (UK, Century, 2006).
The stencil can be found in at least three different places throughout London including Tottenham Court Road, the roundabout at Old Street and on Rivington Street in Shoreditch.
One of the recurring themes that can be seen in Banksys works is the simple one of a heart, which could represent love or even peace. In his piece known as ‘Heart Boy’, Banksy shows a young boy with a troubled look on his face and a large paintbrush held in both of his hands. There is bright pink paint on the brush, and on the wall next to the boy there is a pink heart that he appears to have just drawn.
As for the meaning of the piece, it is not quite clear, but perhaps Banksy is just trying to make a simple statement about gender stereotypes; in Western popular culture, pink is the color of girls and femininity while blue is for boys. The boy pictured draws in pink, perhaps subverting this simplistic stereotype.
Moco Museum opened its doors on April 9th of this year with the extensive Banksy exhibition ‘Laugh Now’ (April 9th – September 4th). Due to great success, the exhibition – which frequently renews its works – is prolonged until October 30th.