A man who has dubbed himself “The Hungry Artist” has eaten one of the most expensive bananas on earth and sent ripples through the art world.
As part of an exhibition taking place at the Art Basel in Miami, Maurizio Cattelan’s minimal art piece was untaped from the wall and eaten by David Dutana.
The work, created by Italian artist Cattelan, has been named Comedian and is said to be a “symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humour.” The idea caught the attention of a French collector, who, in turn, paid an eye-watering $120,000 to own it.
The decision to exhibit Cattelan’s work at a major artfair was one that was not taken lightly, Art Basel knowing all too well that the piece would attract headlines: “Maurizio’s work is not just about objects, but about how objects move through the world,” Emmanuel Perrotin said. “Whether affixed to the wall of an art fair booth or displayed on the cover of the New York Post, Maurizio forces us to question how value is placed on material goods. The spectacle, which has been orchestrated so beautifully, is as much a part of the work as the banana.”
Now though, the ‘Hungry Artist’ has made his own headlines by un-taping the banana and eating as part of his own “performance art”. After posing for the cameras hed by a stunned crowd, Dutana was eventually escorted away by gallery staff before taken into police custody.
“I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious,” he eventually wrote after being released by police.
A spokesman for the gallery has insisted that the stunt has not ruined the work and, quite hilariously, they have replaced the banana for an uneaten one. “He did not destroy the work!” a spokesman said. “The banana is the idea.”