Everyone knows that art is subjective. But after a banana taped to the wall of a Miami art festival sold for $ 120,000 this week, many people kept saying "what?"
That's right – a real, edible, real-life banana displayed at the prestigious Art Basel Art Fair sought more money in a day than many people could even dream of having in their bank accounts.
The artwork is aptly called "comedian" and is the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Although he has worked with taxidermy animals and marble in his past to create sculptures, this piece is not an artistic recreation, but is literally a ribbon and fruit.
The banana was bought at a grocery store in Miami.
It may look more like the decorative attempts of a college student with an exceptionally limited budget, but the piece – which has several versions – has sold two copies.
Clearly, some found it peeling off.
Online opinions have been split on the banana. While some find humor in the play, others expressed outrage at the apparent misuse of wealth.
A Twitter user posted a picture of a banana tied to a shoe, writing that "bid starts at $ 100K"
Controversy may be the point of the play, however.
Perrotin, the gallery behind the banana displayed at Art Basel, post a press release on December 4, explaining that the play “provides insight into how we value it and what kind of objects we value”.
Cattelan's previous work included a fully functional solid gold toilet, titled "America," which recently made headlines after being stolen from Winston Churchill's birthplace.
According Guggenheim Biography | by Maurizio Cattelan, he was born in Padua in 1960, and much of his artwork over the years aims to mock public figures and distort common objects and symbols.
"America" aimed to make fun of the American dream and excessive wealth. The fact that it could be used as a toilet and not just a non-functioning sculpture was a reminder of the "inevitable physical realities of our shared humanity." Guggenheim says.
The release of Perrotin points out that as the banana itself is real, it will inevitably deteriorate.
"If the banana molds, a decision will be made on the spot," the gallery said.
There is a third copy of the piece, and it is expected to sell for an even higher price: $ 150,000.
I fell in love with the concept but have no money? Never fear. DIY is here.
The average retail price of a pound of banana in Canada is about $ 1.50, according to Statista. Assuming there are about seven or eight bananas in a bunch, you could theoretically recreate Cattelan's "Comedian" from the comfort of your own home about 600,000 times before approaching what one person spent on the original.