A hungry artist has eaten the world’s most expensive banana and police had to intervene after his action caused a scene.
The banana duct-taped to the wall sold last week for $120,000 and was hailed as “a symbol of global trade”
The banana art piece, titled Comedian, by 59-year-old Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was on show at the international gallery Perrotin at Art Basel in Miami.
Cattelan bought the banana at a local fruit market then duct-taped it to the wall.
The banana was bought from Cattelan by a French art collector and was being displayed at the Art Basel gallery in Miami.
However, the banana which sold for $120,000 was ripped off the wall and eaten by New York performance artist David Datuna, 45.
David sparked outrage after eating the banana but he said the act of eating the banana is also art.
David said: “I can eat the banana and the concept of the banana — because I am an artist and not a regular human. It’s not about the piece. It’s an art performance.
Maurizio Cattelan, I love him. One artist eats another artist. It’s fun.”
He added: “The performance name is Hungry Artist.”
Police had to intervene after David’s apparent piece of performance art which he captured on video and called “Hungry Artist”. Stunned gallery staff called security and police who interviewed Datuna and took his details – although he was not formally arrested.
Spokesperon Lucien Terras defended David Datuna, saying: “He did not destroy the work ! The banana is the idea.”
The first edition for Comedian apparently came from a local Miami supermarket and sold to a French collector for $120,000 USD by Perrotin, an international art gallery, according to Artnet’s site. A second edition sold to another French connoisseur for the same price, while a third edition of the work will reportedly sell for a staggering $150,000 USD.
Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin called the phenomenon a “miracle,” adding “I don’t know how this happened!”
Perrotin went on to tell CNN the banana is “a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humor,” explaining that they’re vehicles of both “critique and delight.”
He added that “Maurizio’s work is not just about objects, but about how objects move through the world.”
As for the person who paid $120,00 for the banana, all is not lost for him. The work apparently comes with a certificate of authenticity, and owners can replace the banana. The eaten banana was replaced by Perrotin minutes later.
There were reportedly instructions in place already to swap the banana with a fresh one as it decomposes, suggesting the banana itself is not intrinsic to the value of the artwork.
Below are posts shared by David Datuna after eating the banana.