Others believe the painting symbolizes the little girl is letting her heart go. So what does this painting symbolize and what did Banksey mean?
Let's start with the basics: Who was Banksey? Who was this graffiti artist who painted a young girl on a gray wall in London? Banksey did not see himself as a meaningful or great artist. He was a rebel who publically made statements against the "privileged class" through street art, or what many might see as "graffiti." This original painting on a simple gray London wall in a stairwell was removed and sold last year. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-26022513 This simple image of a small girl and a heart balloon seems to have deeply spoken to people since its creation in 2002.
There is Always Hope
The image is of a young girl. She is still of the age of innocence, hope and optimism. Her hand is open as if she is reaching for the balloon even though it is clearly out of her reach. The flow of her hair indicated the balloon may have been ripped from her young hand by the wind. The balloon is in the shape of her heart indicating that love or her heart has been taken from her...and yet she still reaches as if there is "still hope." The quote on the wall to the right of the painting also has given many the idea that the meaning is of hope. The idea is to never give up. Is this what was his meaning?
Another theory regarding Banksy's meaning behind the portrait is that the girl is "letting it go." Again, the image is of a young girl. She has her life ahead of her and life is blowing her in different directions, including her heart and feelings.
The child's hand is open and as if she may have let the balloon loose. The image may symbolize life blew her where she is now and she has decided that the pain of what her heart holds needs to be "let go" so she can move on. She has allowed her heart to "let go" of what hurts and find peace within herself. Maybe even the quote, "THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE" means "let go" of your pain because the future still holds hope.
This simple and yet powerful image has lately been used as a symbol of standing on the side of Syria. http://www.upworthy.com/banksy-has-updated-his-famous-the-girl-with-the-balloon-artwork-to-stand-with-syria-5 Many have had the imagine tattooed onto their bodies.