Comedian (artwork)

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ArtistMaurizio Cattelan
LocationArt Basel, Miami Beach, U.S.

Comedian is a work of art made by Maurizio Cattelan in 2019. It is made of a banana duct taped to a wall. Three editions of the art were made. Two of them were sold for $120,000.

History[change | change source]

Cattelan in 2012

Maurizio Cattelan is known for making strange art. His sculpture America is a working golden toilet.[1] He has used duct tape before by taping a person on a wall for an art gallery.[2] He bought the banana used in Comedian for about 30 cents.[3] Emmanuel Perrotin was the exhibitor of Comedian. He said it has many meanings and is a good way to show humor.[4] It was the first time in more than 15 years that Cattelan's art was shown in an exhibition.[5]

Reception[change | change source]

Some people did not think it should really be called art.[6] The Guardian said it was a "questionably genius work". They said the price of the art reminded them of a joke in the sitcom Arrested Development about not knowing how much a banana costs.[3] Artnet News said it was one of the worst works of art for the week. They thought that the price was foolish.[7] USA Today made jokes about the art's price.[8] Newsweek called it "humorous" and "minimalist" (art that uses simple ideas).[9] CBS News said it was "the most talked-about" work of art at the gallery.[10] Comedian was put on the cover of The New York Post for a day.[11]

Purchases[change | change source]

Three editions of the art were made.[12] Two of them were bought at the art gallery Art Basel for $120,000. This got the attention of mass media. One of the editions was bought by Sara Andelman (a founder of a fashion shop). Another was bought by Billy and Beatrice Cox. They said that they knew some people thought it would be foolish to buy it. They bought it because they said it would be "iconic" and "historical".[13] It came with a certificate to show that it is the real art.[14]

Intervention[change | change source]

Artist David Datuna ate one of the editions at the Art Basel. He called his intervention Hungry Artist. A new banana was used after that.[15][16] No legal complaints were made, but Datuna was told to leave the gallery.[17] He said that anything done to the art can be art itself. "I am a hungry artist, and I am hungry for new interactions."[18]

Meanings[change | change source]

Some people tried to think of what the art could mean, while others did not think it was serious. Artist Sebastian Errazuriz duct taped a dildo on a wall and tried to get $12,000 from it.[19] CryptoGraffiti made jokes on trying to find bitcoin keys in bananas.[20] Brooke Shields taped a banana on her forehead and put it on Instagram with the text "An expensive selfie".[21] Design Simon Porte Jacquemus made an image of a bag he designed with tape on it.[21] Many other companies made images of their products being taped.[22]

Removal[change | change source]

Comedian was taken out of the art gallery on December 8, 2019. Curators did this because they thought people would harm other works of art at the gallery.[23] They made an apology for those that wanted to see it.[24] Emmanuel Perrotin made an account on social media about Comedian after that.[25] One of the walls that had the art was vandalized with the text "Epstein didn't kill himself".[26]

References[change | change source]

  1. Sutton, Benjamin (December 4, 2019). "Maurizio Cattelan's duct-taped banana work sold during Art Basel in Miami Beach's VIP preview". Artsy. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  2. Jason Farago (December 8, 2019). "A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 O'Neil, Luke (December 6, 2019). "One banana, what could it cost? $120,000 – if it's art". The Guardian. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  4. Sullivan, Rory (December 6, 2019). "A-peeling offer? Duct-taped banana work selling for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  5. Harris, Garreth (December 4, 2019). "Maurizio Cattelan presents first new work for a fair in 15 years—and it is a banana priced at $120,000". The Art Newspaper. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  6. "maurizio cattelan's comedian, a duct taped-banana sells for $120.000 at art basel in miami". Design Bloom. December 7, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  7. Goldstein, Caroline (December 6, 2019). "From the Turner Prize Twist to Maurizio Cattelan's Apeel-ing Bananas: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week". Artnet News. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  8. Moniuszko, Sara M. (December 5, 2019). "A duct-taped banana art work is selling for $120,000 at Art Basel in Miami". USA Today. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  9. Ahmed, Tufayel (December 5, 2019). "Banana Duct-Taped to a Wall Sells for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami". NewsWeek. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  10. Larnaud, Natacha (December 6, 2019). "A banana duct-taped to a wall was sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami". CBS News. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  11. Bishara, Hakim (December 9, 2019). ""It Tasted Like $120,000," Says Artist Who Ate Maurizio Cattelan's Infamous Banana Artwork". Hyperallergic. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  12. "Maurizio Cattelan is Taping Bananas to a Wall at Art Basel Miami Beach and Selling Them for $120,000 Each". Artnet News. December 4, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  13. Siegler, Mara; Coleman, Oli (December 9, 2019). "Billy and Beatrice Cox, new owners of $120K Art Basel banana, speak out". Page Six. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  14. Kuesel, Christy (December 10, 2019). "The buyers of two editions of Maurizio Cattelan's banana artwork were revealed". Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  15. Cohen, Howard; Morrissey, Siobhan (December 7, 2019). "Someone ate the $120,000 banana at Art Basel. Some quick thinking saved the day". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  16. Darby, Luke (December 8, 2019). "Some Guy Ate That $120,000 Art Basel Banana". GQ. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  17. AFP (December 8, 2019). "Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall". Times of Israel. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  18. Holmes, Helen (February 20, 2020). "The Artist Who Ate the Art Basel Banana Has a New Show Opening in New York". Observer. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  19. Gibson, Eleanor (December 9, 2019). "Maurizio Cattelan's $120,000 banana removed from display". de zeen. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  20. Cascone, Sarah (December 9, 2019). "How the Unhinged Reaction to Maurizio Cattelan's Banana Revealed the Thin Line Between the Art World and Total Anarchy". Artnet News. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Ilchi, Layla (December 10, 2019). "The $120,000 Art Banana Gets the Meme Treatment". WWD. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  22. Liffreing, Ilyse (December 10, 2019). "Brands Are Trying to One-Up the Art Basel Banana". Ad Age. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  23. Stiernberg, Bonnie (December 8, 2019). "The $120,000 Art Basel Banana Has Been Taken Down". Inside Hook. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  24. Pogrebin, Robin (December 8, 2019). "Banana Splits: Spoiled by Its Own Success, the $120,000 Fruit Is Gone". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  25. Taylor, Elise (December 10, 2019). "The $120,000 Art Basel Banana, Explained". Vogue. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  26. Dickson, EJ (December 9, 2019). "Art Basel Miami: 'Epstein Didn't Kill Himself' and the $120,000 Banana". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 13, 2021.