An artist sold a banana duct-taped to the wall for R1 million. On Sunday, someone tore the fruit off the wall and ate it.
- Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan displayed a piece titled "Comedian" at the Art Basel Miami art fair this week.
- "Comedian" consists of a single banana duct-taped to a white wall.
- ArtNet's Sarah Cascone attended a VIP preview for Art Basel Miami and reported that the first edition of the piece sold for $120,000 (R1.7 million).
- On Saturday, a performance artist ate the banana off the wall at Art Basel Miami. The next day, the gallery took down the "Comedian."
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Earlier this week, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan put up a piece titled "Comedian" at the Art Basel Miami festival. Two editions of the piece were sold for $120,000 (R1.7 million). Cattelan parted with another for $150,000(R2.1 million).
"Comedian" is a single banana duct-taped to a wall. It's sourced from Perrotin, the Parisian gallery with locations in New York and across Asia.
The visitors to Art Basel Miami adored the piece; dense crowds prompted the gallery to take "Comedian" down on Sunday.
"This morning, following recommendations, we removed the installation at 9 a.m.," the gallery's stated in a press release, adding, "Art Basel collaboratively worked with us to station guards and create uniform lines. However, the installation caused several uncontrollable crowd movements and the placement of the work on our booth compromised the safety of the artwork around us, including that of our neighbors."
But "Comedian" didn't leave the wall before disaster struck. Performance artist David Datuna reportedly grabbed the banana on display at Art Basel, tore it off the wall, and devoured it on Saturday.
He posted a video to Instagram showing off his feast, titling the performance "Hungry Artist."
"I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation, Datuna wrote. "It's very delicious ??"
'Comedian' can be any banana and any piece of duct tape
On Thursday, Perrotin told ArtNet's Sarah Cascone that it wasn't worried about someone stealing "Comedian."
That's because, without the artist's certificate of authenticity, "Comedian" reverts to just being banana on the wall.
According to Art Basel Miami, Datuna's smorgasbord didn't destroy the art work or detract from the piece's monetary value.
The "Comedian's" $120,000 (R1.7 million) to $150,000 (R2.1 million) price tag doesn't encapsulate a specific banana or piece of duct tape. Rather, the buyers bought the concept of the piece, including a certificate of authenticity from Cattelan, as well as instructions on how to install the artwork.
That way, the art collectors can replace the banana whenever it rots - or gets eaten as a midday snack.
Cascone reported that Art Basel Miami has a spare banana on hand. According to the New York Times, after Datuna's stunt, the gallery simply taped another piece of fruit to the wall.
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