It is probably the most expensive banana in the world and this Saturday was actually eaten by performance artist David Datuna. We are talking about the ultimate provocative artwork by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The artwork, presented at the Art Basel Miami, is worth 120 thousand dollars!
Comedian: a surprising artwork at Art Basel Miami
Maurizio Cattelan is well known in the art world for being a pure subversive artist. He quests the relationship between art and life, reality and fantasy. Above all, Cattelan developed a sensationalistic approach. In particular, he often takes inspiration from mass media culture. By deconstructing or stigmatizing symbols, Cattelan amuses and surprises the viewer. However, at the same time, he produces in his audience an effect of disorientation that makes his art immediately recognizable.
The name of the artwork presented at Art Basel is Comedian. This is the umpteenth controversial work by the artist to have seduced the international art press. The work – consisting of a real, edible banana attached with silver scotch on a white wall – soon became a phenomenon around the world.
Cattelan’s banana eaten by David Datuna
The artwork was on display at the international gallery Perrotin. In the artist’s vision, Comedian stands as an attempt to make the public reflect on the value given to objects. Even more incredible than the artwork itself, it’s its destiny: the Georgian-born American artist David Datuna last Saturday pulled it from the wall, peeled it and devoured it!
It’s actually one of the first times that an artist eats the conceptual work of a colleague. If art is in the eye of the beholder, in this case, it passed fast to his stomach. Despite the anger and the general confusion of the audience, Cattelan’s banana was quickly replaced. In addition, to prevent someone from emulating David Datuna, guards were deployed around the – new – banana, in defense and control of the replaced work.
The director of Art Basel, Herald Lucien Terras, wanted to reassure the buyers of the other two copies of the work. In particular, the artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity, meaning owners can replace the banana. “Datuna did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea“, Terras said.
However, although security was deployed to prevent Datuna-style performances from replicating, Perrotin Gallery decided to close the stand early, just one day after the fair closed. “Comedian by Maurizio Cattelan is no longer visible,” the art gallery announced.
The prankster art of Maurizio Cattelan
The installation, in particular, caused several uncontrollable movements of the crowd, and its placement compromised the safety of the surrounding works.
Maurizio Cattelan’s banana surely caught the world’s eyes. However, this wasn’t the first time for the artist.
In A Perfect Day, Cattelan exhibits his gallery owner Massimo De Carlo; on the other hand, in Hollywood, the word standing on the hills of Los Angeles is decontextualized. Cattelan reproduces and moves it over a hill near Palermo, Sicily. In addition to those, there is La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), the statue of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite. This eccentric and courageous artwork was included in the 2016 TV series The Young Pope.