Artist Eats $120,000 Banana Duct-Taped to Wall at Florida Art Gallery

Lawrence Kim
December 9, 2019

He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze for finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana.

The controversial piece, titled "Comedian", was taken down Sunday at the request of Art Basel's organizers, The New York Post reported.

A second version of the art piece was also sold to a French man, according to ArtNet, and a third sold to a museum.

For the *very affordable* price of $120,000USD ($175,351AUD), buyers were given a "certificate of authenticity", effectively buying the idea of the banana taped to the wall.

The artwork "Comedian" by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was peeled and eaten by performance artist David Datuna on Saturday.

The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled "Comedian" and sold to a French collector for United States dollars $120,000.

"I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation".

Although the banana was consumed, Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for the gallery said the original intent of the artwork was not destroyed.

After Datuna's "Hungry Artist" went viral, the unknown fan handed Terras a new banana in what may have been a joke, but quickly became the new star of Cattelan's show. If Datuna had eaten a certificate of authenticity, that might have been a different story. He added: "Maurizio Cattelan, I love him".

Peggy Leboeuf, a partner at the Perrotin gallery, told the Herald that a woman in the crowd had thought it was Cattelan eating his own artwork and when she realized it wasn't, she told Datuna: "But you're not supposed to touch the art!" Well, not really. This is satirical art and it's valued so highly and is bought by people who can comfortably throw $120,000 to $150,000 away on a BANANA TAPED TO A WALL.

Comedian has been a hit at Art Basel Miami, with visitors queuing up to snap selfies with it, but organizers aren't anxious that the expensive artwork might get stolen.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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