Some people have far more money than sense. In Florida, a banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000. But the art that was, in reality, a snack got munched by a performance artist. According to the Miami Herald, on Saturday afternoon, performance artist David Datuna walked into the exhibit where the world-famous duct-taped banana was being displayed, grabbed it off the wall, and ate it. That was a very expensive snack.
The banana art, titled “Comedian,” was the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It’s a part of Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The piece sold for $120,000 to a French art collector.
In a video, Datuna can be seen removing the ripe banana from the exhibit, peeling it, and calling himself a “hungry artist” before consuming it. “With respect Mauricio,” he is seen telling Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan who created the “art,” while adding: “But it’s art performance. Hungry artist,” as he devoured the fruit.
“The original duct-taped banana came with a certificate of authenticity and owners were told that they could replace it as needed.
“‘The banana is the idea’
“Although the banana has now been consumed, a representative of the gallery argues this does not diminish the value of the $120,000 piece of art.
“He did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea,” said Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, where the six-figure banana, titled “Comedian,” was hosted.
a guy at Art Basel pulled the banana worth $120k off the wall and ATE IT!!!! here’s him being escorted out pic.twitter.com/w6Z7mHHSGC
— jonathan munoz stan account (@isaaacarrasco) December 7, 2019
“Visitors at the gallery were confused when they saw Datuna eat the banana, the Herald reported.
“According to Peggy Leboeuf, a partner at Perrotin Gallery, a startled, and bemused, a woman in the crowd thought the original artist — Cattelan — was eating his own banana off the wall. But that wasn’t the case. When she saw Datuna eating the banana, which still had some duct tape on it, she asked him what he was doing.
“Datuna allegedly responded he was a performance artist. “But you’re not supposed to touch the art!” Leboeuf told Datuna.
A “borrowed banana” was re-adhered to the wall shortly after Datuna consumed the original.
“Security was called, but the banana-eater was not arrested.
— David Weiner (@daweiner) December 7, 2019
“Following Datuna’s consumption of the banana, security was called to the scene and the performance artist was escorted out of the gallery. The artist can be seen leaving the facility at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday in a video shared on Twitter.
“This has been interesting,” Miami Beach police Capt. Steven Feldman told the Herald, which had asked him if he had ever seen someone destroy artwork at Art Basel. “Not that I can remember,” Feldman responded.
“The gallery is OK with people taking pictures of the banana. It is a delicate balancing act. We just want to make sure the area is secure,” the police captain added.
“Art Basel is considered by many to be the hemisphere’s top art festival and attracts thousands of visitors and celebrities from around the world. It is held annually in three locations: Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach.”
Art Basel: Banana duct-taped to wall sells for $120,000 in Miami Beach – CBS News https://t.co/qvKMQzOiTG
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) December 7, 2019
One wonders if the artist actually hired the man to eat the banana for publicity.
“He did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea,” Terras said. Apparently the collectors are buying the certificate — the banana is not made to last.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras added. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) December 6, 2019
Perrotin, the gallery owner, was on his way to the airport when he heard the banana had been eaten. Immediately enraged, he turned around and headed back to the gallery. One of the gallery viewers tried to cheer him up by handing him another banana. Right.
Perrotin and a gallery assistant taped the new banana back to the wall.
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) December 8, 2019
Cattelan is the same artist behind the 18-karat gold toilet named “America” that was widely touted as anti-Trump art. It was on display in a public restroom in the Guggenheim in New York City in 2016. The $6-million-dollar throne was stolen from England’s Blenheim Palace over the summer.
As RedState put it so perfectly: “Idiotic? If it walks like a duct and talks like a duct…”