We live in a time where duct-taping a banana to the wall is an artwork worth more than your annual salary, and eating that very banana is considered performance art.
A very expensive banana?
A single banana duct-taped to a wall by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was sold for US$120,000 (S$160,000) at Art Basel, an art gallery in Miami, Florida.
Yup, a banana that was bought at a local supermarket in Miami.
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Cattelan Moment, the Italian artist returns with a new sculpture created for the @galerieperrotin booth at @artbasel in Miami Beach. His participation in Art Basel would not have gone unnoticed anyway, as they have passed now 15 years from the last job for a fair. However, as always he has decided to attract the attention of the public and critics with a work that we are sure will animate discussions between experts, enthusiasts and detractors. What is it? Of a simple banana attached to the wall with a piece of gray adhesive tape, the same one used by Cattelan when he hung his first great merchant Massimo De Carlo on the wall of a Milan gallery. . #banana #mauriziocattelan #cattelan #artbaselmiami
NBC News reported that some editions of the artwork, if you'll call it, sold for up to US$150,000 (S$204,000).
Performance artist eats the art, calls it 'delicious'
If that still doesn't sound absurd to you, the S$160,000 work of art was subsequently ripped off -- literally -- from the wall, and eaten by a visiting performance artist, David Datuna.
As he ripped off the banana, he clarified that it was an art performance, entitled "Hungry Artist".
"I love Maurizio Cattelan's artwork and I really love this installation," Datuna said on Instagram. "It’s very delicious."
However, gallery staffers didn't seem too pleased with Datuna at first, as he was confronted by a woman who asked for his name.
As he was being escorted away by the lady, he said to the audience, "See you after jail."
However, it was later clarified that the local police were not involved in the mini fiasco, as the gallery's spokesperson explained that the artwork comes with "instructions" that "the banana should be replaced as necessary".
Considering that bananas do rot if you leave them out for too long, perhaps the performance artist saved them the trouble of throwing out the fruit.
The spokesperson told the Miami Herald that Datuna's snacking would not affect the artwork's value as the banana was meant to be replaced as needed.
"He did not destroy the art work," he told the newspaper. "The banana is the idea."
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