Banksy @Manchester Art Gallery

DJ Mary Anne Hobbs lends iconic Banksy image for display at Manchester Art Gallery

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 11 December 2015

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DJ Mary Anne Hobbs lends iconic Banksy image for display at Manchester Art Gallery

Music journalist and DJ Mary Anne Hobbs has lent Manchester Art Gallery an iconic image by Britain”s best-known graffiti artist Banksy. The work Love is in the Air, 2000 is an early version of what has become one of Banksy”s most famous images.

The Xfm DJ, who recently moved to Manchester, said about the piece:

“Banksy gave me this picture as a birthday gift in May 2000. It was delivered to me live on-air at BBC Radio 1 by Stuart Price of Les Rhythm Digitales (who went on to become Madonna”s musical director).

Stuart came to the studios with a mob of musicians from the Wall of Sound online casino record label to celebrate my birthday. Banksy was then relatively unknown outside of the world of street art. He was actually doing a little graphic design for Wall of Sound”s sister label We Love You.

This image, a prototype of what went on to become one of his most Iconic designs, was actually used on the cover of We love you… so love us, the record label”s first compilation album in 2000.

It”s a dream for me to have it displayed in Manchester Art Gallery in my new home city. I hope it will inspire all who see it.”

Banksy is a Bristol-born artist, who keeps his true identity a closely guarded secret. He uses stencils to create his distinctive graffiti images. Banksy”s work can be found in public spaces across the UK and around the world. He has previously exhibited in London, New York and Los Angeles while his 2009 exhibition Banksy vs Bristol Museum attracted record numbers of visitors.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure said about the loan: “We are very grateful to Mary Anne Hobbs for the loan of this brilliant piece by Banksy. It”s a really significant example of the artist”s iconic street art and complements the growing number of contemporary works on display at the gallery, including the new Manchester Gallery display and the exhibition We Face Forward: Art From West Africa Today.”

Love is in the Air is on display in the entrance hall of Manchester Art Gallery.