Of Course Someone Ate the $120,000 Duct Tape Banana

A man pulled Maurizio Cattelan's work off a gallery wall at Art Basel, chomped into it, and called the move performance art.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Maurizio Cattelan's duct tape banana

You have no doubt heard about the duct tape banana, because everyone has heard about the duct tape banana. But on the off chance you haven't, here's a quick recap: Maurizio Cattelan, the artist behind Toiletpaper and that solid-gold john that used to be in the Guggenheim, duct taped a banana to a wall at Art Basel, titled it Comedian, and sold it for $120,000. He made three of the works and, after selling the second for another $120,000, upped the asking price on the third to $150,000.


On Saturday, the whole banana situation somehow got even more absurd: Some dude walked into the gallery hosting Comedian, pulled one of the bananas off the wall, and ate it.

The guy in question, David Datuna, called his act of willful idiocy inside Perrotin an "art performance," which he titled Hungry Artist. (He's a full-time artist himself, though none of his previous work has been quite this utterly stupid experimental.

While Datuna chomped away on a piece of $120,000 fruit, Perrotin's Gallery Director Peggy Leboeuf summed up the sight before her—"This is so stupid"—and then sat the guy down to collect his information. He wound up being asked to leave, but he wasn't charged for ruining the artwork, and he wasn't arrested, BBC reports.

Instead, the gallery just found another banana, ripped off a new strip of duct tape, and stuck the thing back on the wall. In their eyes, nothing had really changed.

"He did not destroy the art work," Lucien Terras, Perrotin's director of museum relations, told the Miami Herald. "The banana is the idea."

The banana is the idea. The banana… is the idea. Genius.

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