A contemporary art piece titled, “The Comedian,” which sold for a staggering $120,000 at Miami’s Art Basel festival this week, is now in a different artist’s stomach, according to reports.
“The Comedian” was an “installation” meant, ostensibly, to make fun of the art world’s obsession with banal and uninspired works, according to its creator, Maurizio Cattelan, but most viewers saw it as simply a rotting banana duct taped to a wall.
The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported earlier this week that the piece, presented at Art Basel — the American version of the avant garde Swiss art showcase — is one of three similar pieces showcased around the world, and the arist, Cattelan, prides himself on “mocking” the rest of contemporary art with his work. The banana is a follow-up to a 2017 installation — a “golden toilet” — that sold for $6 million, but is currently missing after a shocking art heist that took place in the UK earlier this year.
On Saturday, however, another contemporary “artist” decided to make his own show of the duct-taped banana, peeling the fruit off the wall and consuming it in front of a crowd of horrified onlookers.
“The work … was ripe for the picking,” CNN reported, “and on Saturday, it was unceremoniously taken off the wall at the Art Basel Miami Beach, peeled, and eaten by a performance artist, amid a crowd of stunned onlookers, some of whom posted videos of the incident.”
The second “arist,” David Datuna, posted a video of his stunt to Instagram with the caption, “I really love this installation. It’s very delicious.”
The $150,000 banana duct-taped to the wall at Art Basel was eaten by New York-based performance artist, David Datuna.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) December 8, 2019
Datuna titled his “work,” “Hungry Artist.”
It took some work for Datuna to find the banana. It was removed from public display after Art Basel concluded earlier this week and relocated to a gallery. But Datuna was also given incredible leeway for his stunt. According to CNN, he actually conversed with several patrons, who were treating Datuna’s efforts with utter seriousness, as if he truly were creating a work of art before their very eyes, as Datuna peeled and consumed the banana.
Cattelan worked on his art for a year, according to a press release from the gallery where Cattelan’s banana was being exhibited for sale, and the gallery claims it has sentimental value to the artist.
“Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana,” a statement from the gallery read. “Every time he traveled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze (before) finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana.”
But fortunately for Cattelan, it seems that, unlike a bronze, resin, or even painted banana, a real banana is actually quite easy to replace though the gallery isn’t clear on whether Cattelan plans to scrap the work altogether or start over with a new crop of fruit since Cattelan left no instructions on what to do with the banana once someone paid for it. The gallery did note to CNN” that any buyer would be confronted with a similar issue — a missing or degrading banana — when the duct-taped item started to rot.