Artist Peels $120,000 Banana Off Gallery Wall And Eats It
A performance artist has stunned a crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach after he pulled a banana off the wall and ate it.
Now, this may not seem incredibly important or shocking, but the piece of fruit was reportedly worth more than $100,000. Wowzers.
It was a 'work of art' by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Titled 'Comedy', it was sold to a French collector an eye-watering $120,000 (£91,000). So it's a fairly big deal.
The stunt was filmed and shared on the Instagram account of David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist.
The clip shows him strolling up to the wall that the banana has been duct-taped to and peeling it off, before gobbling it, much to the horror of everyone in the gallery.
Peeling the fruit and taking a bite, Datuna says: "Art performance... hungry artist. Thank you, very good."
A few onlookers can then be seen watching awkwardly and laughing as a worried member of staff comes over and pulls Datuna away to talk about what the f*** just happened.
But it didn't take long for the whole situation to be sorted out, because within 15 minutes of the stunt happening a replacement banana had been stuck to the wall.
Speaking to the Miami Herald, Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, said: "He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea."
According to the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said, the banana is, in fact, meant to be replaced.
Terras went on: "This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we're not into spectacles. But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people's faces."
The gallery reported the incident to security, but Datuna has not been arrested.
News about the bizarre installation was reported last week.
It's understood Cattelan found the bananas he used from a Miami supermarket and is now hoping to sell the third and final edition to a museum. Two are already interested, apparently.
Emmanuel Perrotin, who owns the gallery, says the artwork is no joke and told the Artnet that every aspect of the piece was very carefully considered by Cattelan. So that's philistines like me well and truly told...
The artist told Artnet he had spent around a year working on the piece and that he has created versions of it in resin and bronze.
He said: "Wherever I was travelling I had this banana on the wall. I couldn't figure out how to finish it.
"In the end, one day I woke up and I said, 'The banana is supposed to be a banana.'"
Featured Image Credit: PA