Man writes 'Epstein didn't kill himself' on wall that displayed $1,20,000 banana artwork
Many visitors were confused by the controversial on the wall, and some even thought it was another artwork
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: A lot is happening to the white wall where a $1,20,000 duct-taped banana exhibit was recently displayed. The wall where the banana created quite a stir at Art Basel in Miami Beach was graffitied by a prankster on December 8 with the words: "Epstien (sic) didn’t kill himself". The man was later arrested.
The now-iconic piece of artwork, the previous editions of which were also sold for whopping sums of money, was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and titled the 'Comedian'.
A day prior to the vandalism incident, artist David Datuna had casually walked by one of the installations of 'The Comedian' at the Miami Beach Convention Center, freed the fruit by removing the duct tape on the wall and ate it.
So when Sacha Medici, 24, was visiting the center on Sunday, hoping to spot Cattelan’s banana masterpiece, she was disappointed. “When we got to the wall, it was white and empty,” Medici said. “We saw this guy live-streaming... and he starts writing on the wall and I was like, ‘No way, there’s no way this guy is writing'."
As it turned out, the man brought a red lipstick to write "Epstien (sic) didn’t kill himself" on the wall before being apprehended by the security guards. The surname of the multimillionaire sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell in New York City, was spelled incorrectly by the perpetrator.
Roderick Webber, 46, of Massachusetts, was seen in a video taken by Medici where he said: “This is the gallery where anyone can do art, right?” as he wrote the words out on the wall.
According to a police report, reviewed by Miami Herald, as he was being escorted out of the convention center Webber shouted, "If someone can eat the $1,20,000 banana and not get arrested, why can’t I write on the wall?” He was arrested on charges of criminal mischief.
Katherine Wisniewski, a spokeswoman for the Emmanuel Perrotin art gallery where the vandalized wall is located, said the gallery is not affiliated with Webber. Many visitors were confused by the words on the wall while others simply assumed that it was another performance piece