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$120,000 Banana Gets Eaten At Art Basel

Banana Art Eaten

If there was ever an altruistic reason to put your money into someone’s GoFundMe campaign, it should be “the banana man”--until you dig below the surface of the $120,000 banana art fiasco that was the highlight of the Art Basel show in Miami Beach last week.   The banana escapade attracted a significant amount of attention, which was perhaps the whole point as it helps drive up prices of ridiculous art.

First, a banana duct-taped to a wall, the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, titled “Comedian,” created a stir when a French collector purchased it for $120,000. 

Then, New York-based performance artist David Datuna ate the banana in front of a convention center full of art lovers and wealthy people. Apparently, the gallery employees assumed that the original artist, Cattelan, had taken his own banana off the wall for a snack. 

The gallery reported the incident to the police, but Datuna was not arrested.

"I love Maurizio Cattelan’s artwork, and I really love this installation," Datuna later captioned an Instagram post. "It’s very delicious."  

It appears that the banana-eating incident will see a happy ending. According to Art Basel representative, it doesn’t diminish the integrity of the artwork. (Would that even be possible?)

The work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, and owners are told that they can replace the banana, as needed. Apparently, collectors are buying the certificate. The banana is not made to last.

Even though there is an unwritten rule about not debating the value of art, one could ostensibly provide over 630,000 bananas to those in need for the same price that Cattelan’s banana art-work has fetched. 

Given the time it takes to create a “work of fruit” of this caliber, which we approximate to be 60 seconds, an artist could earn $2,000/second.  

Not only has the “integrity” of the artwork not been diminished, but as “Comedian” became a social media and mainstream darling of the millionaire art fair crowd overnight, Cattelan promptly created two more works of fruit.

While Datuna was not arrested due to his status as a performance artist and due to the fact that it is not possible to diminish the integrity of the “Comedian” simply by eating its main feature, another individual was arrested in relation to the same Art Basel exhibit ...

Roderick Webber was arrested on charges of criminal mischief after he vandalized the same wall where the banana “art” had once been. Webber used red lipstick and wrote the misspelled message: “Epstien didn’t kill himself”.  

On a live broadcast on his social media, Webber claimed that the message he wrote was “not vandalism, but art”, and that the gallery “invited” such performance art by setting a “precedent” with the banana display. 

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“This is the gallery where anyone can do art, right?... “Stupid can only be fought with more stupid,” he said.

Indeed, Art Basel is known to push the boundaries of art that many art lovers and critics are having a hard time understanding. The wealthy are looking for ways to spend their money, and wine and jewelry just aren’t cutting it anymore.

This June Art Basel exhibition featured a 30-foot-long blow-up sculpture of a Nike sneaker, a 62-foot-long political statement against sexual harassment…

A set of 28 colorful sofas by the late Franz West, an influential Austrian sculpture, sold for $3.8 million.

Those pieces were represented in Art Basel’s ‘Art Unlimited” section, a massive aircraft hangar-type space next to the main fair earlier this year

And let’s not forget the recent $90-million sale at Christie’s of Rabbit 1986, an inflatable wonder that make Jeff Koons the “most expensive living artist in the world”.   

By Anes Alic for SafeHaven.com

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