'Hungry artist' eats Comedian, a $120,000 artwork that featured a banana duct-taped to wall at Art Basel in Miami
New York-based performance artist David Datuna did the most shocking thing as he simply walked up to the art installation, pulled the banana off the wall and ate it
If you thought a banana duct-taped to a wall and labeled “art” selling for $120,000 was odd, get this: The same esteemed banana has been devoured by a NewYork man who simply walked up to the art installation, pulled the banana off the wall and ate it.
On Saturday, December 7, the banana artwork titled 'Comedian' by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was eaten in front of horrified art lovers, experts, and connoisseurs.
The piece was a part of Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall at Art Basel in Miami Beach and had sold for $120,000 to a French art collector just days ago.
At around 1:45 pm on Saturday, New York-based performance artist David Datuna did the shocking deed—a performance he has since labeled 'Hungry Artist', gallery representatives told Miami Herald.
“It’s not about the piece. It’s an art performance. Maurizio Cattelan, I love him. One artist eats another artist. It’s fun,” Datuna told the New York Post about eating the banana.
Peggy Leboeuf, who's a partner at Perrotin Gallery, both dismayed and frantic at the time, was heard telling Datuna, “But you’re not supposed to touch the art!”
The gallery did try to put the banana-eater to justice by reporting the incident to security, but Datuna had already slipped away by then.
Luckily, the work is still salvageable, as told by Lucien Terras, director of museum relations.
“He did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea,” Terras said of the art-piece that comes with a "Certificate of Authenticity", alongside a disclaimer that owners might replace the banana as and when needed.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras continued, “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces,” Terras said.
Gallery owner Perrotin, who was on his way to the airport when he was informed of the outrageous news, was furious upon receiving the information and immediately turned around to head back to the gallery.
When a gallery viewer tried to cheer him up by offering him another banana, he and a gallery assistant taped it back to the wall instead.
It is to be noted that Cattelan was also the artist behind the 18-karat-gold toilet named 'America' which was labeled anti-Trump art by many, and was on display in a public restroom in the Guggenheim in New York City back in 2016.