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Maurizio Cattelan banana Getty.jpg

The $120,000 Banana Art Story Gets Even Weirder

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Miscellaneous | December 11, 2019 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Miscellaneous | December 11, 2019 |

Maurizio Cattelan banana Getty.jpg

It’s just a banana, Pajiba, it costs, what, $120,000? We return to the Art Basel in Miami Beach, where Italian artist and noted troll Maurizio Cattelan continues to be the talk of the town. The man most famous for his solid gold toilet — which is still missing after being stolen in England — sent the art world into another tizzy with Comedian, his latest provocation. It’s a banana. Duct-taped to the wall. It sold for $120,000. Yes. Eat the rich and their bananas. As art critics and journalists argued over the artistic merits of this ‘sculpture’, another artist decided to f**k around with it EVEN MORE!

Enter David Datuna, who happily joined the queue of fair-goers to see Comedian up close, then calmly removed it from the wall and ate it.

Bless this man. I maintain that either Cattelan hired the guy himself to do this, or at the very least, he’s not-so-secretly delighted this happened. The piece was ‘remade’ but then removed to prevent further problems. Of course, that didn’t happen. Another artist turned up to add some crucial political commentary to the now-blank wall: ‘Epstien didn’t kill himself.’ I assume the misspelling was part of his artistic intent.

As someone who is an absolute sucker for modern art that pisses off people and performance pieces that encourage the audience to respond in turn, I absolutely love this entire mess. I’ve seen people try to claim that the artist isn’t in on the joke of selling a $120,000 banana but of course he is. His entire career has been one of modern art’s most successful examples of what Damien Hirst once referred to as ‘sell[ing] sh*t to fools.’ He’s coming from the Duchamp school of art, that ‘pre-made’ style that has no intrinsic value until the art market decides it does, and given how completely ludicrous the art market remains, how could he not mock it? The banana was so evidently stupid and the kind of thing nobody would willingly ascribe value to until the market did. Capitalism in action, my friends. I bet the artist who ate the banana saw his own prices go up and that Epstein graffiti is now worth a pretty penny. If we can’t eat the rich, at least let them slip on the banana peel.

Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: Getty Images.

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