Banana artwork worth R1,8 million peeled off art display and eaten

Peeled banana. (Photo: Getty Images)
Peeled banana. (Photo: Getty Images)

A hungry performance artist gobbled up a banana masterpiece valued at $120 000 (R1,8 million) in front of art aficionados and influencers at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The piece titled Comedian by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was on show at international gallery Perrotin when New York performance artist David Datuna ate it, according to The Guardian.

Datuna, a New York-based performance artist, posted a video of his action to his Instagram showing him grinning and raising the half-eaten banana as if making a toast.

“I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation,” Datuna wrote. “It’s very delicious.”

The work has been hailed as “symbol of global trade” by gallery founder Emmanuel Perrotin.

“Maurizio’s work isn’t just about objects, but how objects move through the world,” said Perrotin, seemingly aptly describing the end for the ever ripening banana duct-taped to a wall.

But all wasn’t lost for the buyer of the artwork as the piece comes with a certificate of authenticity and replacement instructions.

A spokeswoman for the gallery told the New York Times that the gallery wasn’t taking any action against Datuna.

“It’s all in good spirits,” the spokesperson said. “Perrotin isn’t pressing any legal charges.”

According to Insider, Art Basel Miami had a spare banana on hand as a replacement to be taped to the wall.

This wasn’t the first drama involving Cattelan’s artwork.

Earlier this year, an 18-carat gold toilet titled America was a functional piece which visitors were encouraged to use.

The piece was recently stolen from an exhibition at Britain’s Blenheim Palace.

Sources: The Guardian, New York Times, Insider

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