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A $120,000 piece of very unusual art taped to Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall at Art Basel Miami Beach proved to tempting to an onlooker and was promptly taken from its display and eaten.
World renowned Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is the behind the masterpiece, his first edition of 3, with 2 artist proofs and a Certificate of Authenticity. The showpiece consists of a banana, duct-taped to the wall and is titled “Comedian.”
New York performance artist David Datuna took the banana from the wall in front of several other art-goers around 1:45 pm and ate it. The crowd seemed confused and took pictures and videos of the spectacle. A woman watching the ruckus thought Datuna was the original artist, eating his own work. He responded that he was a performance artist.
The White Cube gallery in the booth next door removed a floor installation, as the crowd to see the banana was quite overwhelming. A rope line was installed on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to keep the crowd under control, along with four Miami Beach police officers outside the gallery.
According to the director of museum relations Lucien Terras, having eaten the banana apparently doesn’t diminish the integrity of the amount of money the piece is worth. Collectors buy the Certificate of Authenticity, which keeps its value. And people also must understand that obviously the banana won’t last forever, and needs to be replaced.
Perrotin and a gallery assistant duct-taped a borrowed banana to the wall after 2 pm, and the showcased piece was restored to its original state of a crowning achievement. It would certainly be nice to have a Certificate of Authenticity for my fruit bowl.