Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 Banana Was Ejected From Art Basel

Maurizio Cattelan’s banana sculpture at Art Basel Miami Beach has taken on a life of its own. On Saturday, amid a crush of fairgoers, a performance artist successfully managed to nab, peel, and eat the conceptual fruit duct-taped to the wall of the booth of Perrotin Gallery. The New York-based artist David Datuna said the edible piece of art, priced between $120,000 to $150,000, tasted good, but he grumbled that there was too much tape.

The stunt helped bring about a premature end to the banana’s star turn at the fair. The following day, on Sunday, Perrotin announced that he had to remove the work, cheekily titled Comedian, from the booth for the fair’s final stretch. The banana, one might say, had to split.

A spokesperson for the fair said that the crowds “posed a serious health and safety risk, as well as an access issue, so the work was removed.”

In recent days, the banana has become one of the rare art-world phenomena to break into mainstream culture: it graced the cover of the New York Post, garnered parodies online, and even a copycat installation on the New York subway. For some, it became a symbol of art-world excess and gullibility; for others, a delightful lesson in conceptual art.


by Javier Pes

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