A performance artist eats $120,000 banana duct-taped to wall

2019-12-09 CGTN Editor:Li Yan

A New York performance artist on Saturday swallowed the celebrated banana duct-taped to a gallery wall at Art Basel Miami Beach, which had just sold to a collector for 120,000 U.S. dollars.

The banana art piece, "Comedian," is the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It was displayed at the museum on Friday.

The performance artist David Datuna ate the banana at around 1:45 p.m. in front of art lovers, according to gallery representatives. A report from the Herald said that his behavior triggered some noises as one visitor shouted: "You're not supposed to touch the art!”

Datuna slipped away before the gallery reported the incident to security, the newspaper reported. "He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea," said Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin.

In an interview with The Post, Datuna explained that he was doing an art performance called "Hungry Artist."

"Maurizio Cattelan, I love him. One artist eats another artist. It's fun," the report quoted him as saying.

It's reported that the gallery re-taped a new banana to the wall after 2 p.m. the same day.

World's most expensive bananas?

Cattelan actually made three editions of the banana piece. Two, including the one eaten by Datuna, were sold to two French buyers. The third one, according to art market website Artnet, has already been priced at 150,000 U.S. dollars.

Cattelan said this project took him about a year, as he explored with different materials like bronze and resin for the banana. "In the end, one day I woke up and I said, 'The banana is supposed to be a banana,'" Cattelan told Artnet.

The banana piece has inspired plenty of social media users who posted own interpretations of the artwork. Apple, carrot and gummed tape all became the objects of creation. To transform them into an art piece, well, first perhaps they have to apply for a Certificate of Authenticity that Cattelan did for his banana piece.

Deng Junfang

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