Art collectors are going bananas over an artwork that essentially consists of a real banana duct-taped to a white wall at an art gallery, with some paying as much as $120,000 for it.
Titled “Comedian”, the original artwork by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was on sale this week from Parisian gallery Perrotin, at the Art Basel festival in Miami. The first edition of the artwork was snatched up by a French art collector for the mind-blowing price of $120,000, and according to gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin a second edition of Comedian was already sold for the same dizzying price.
After successfully selling two bananas for a total of $240,000, the artist and the Perrotin gallery owner decided to to up the price of the third edition to $150,000.
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🍌 Maurizio Cattelan's new sculpture 'Comedian' at Art Basel Miami marks the artist's first major debut at an art fair in over 15 years! Comprised of a real banana affixed to the wall with a piece of duct tape, this new work is no different than Cattelan's hyper-realistic sculptures lampooning popular culture and offer a wry commentary on society, power, and authority. In the same vein as Cattelan's America (2016), this piece offers insight into how we assign worth and what kind of objects we value. The idea of this work came to the artist’s mind a year ago. Back then, Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana. Every time he traveled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze for finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana. Discover it on our booth D24! — Art Basel Miami Beach 📍 Perrotin Booth D24 📆 December 5 – 8, 2019 — #MaurizioCattelan #ArtBaselMiami #ArtBaselMiamiBeach #ArtBasel #Perrotin — Courtesy Maurizio Cattelan.
“We already sold it!” a triumphant Emmanuel Perrotin told reporters. “It’s a miracle; I don’t know how this happened!”
Apparently Cattelan is considered somewhat of a prankster in the art world, but Perrotin Gallery insists that the artwork currently causing such a stir in the art world is no joke.
In fact, the artist allegedly came up with the idea for Comedian last year and spent a lot of time considering every aspect of the artwork, from the shape of the fruit to the angle its been duct-taped to the wall, to the size of the wall itself. He apparently even considered using a fake banana in the beginning.
“Every time he traveled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration,” a statement from Perrotin Gallery stated. “He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze, finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana.”
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The talk of the town in Miami right now is Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian,” a banana 🍌 duct taped to the wall. Two have already sold for $120,000 at Perrotin 😉 read more, including about the banana my husband, @nnddmmyy, hung on his dorm wall for two years, on Artnet News, link in bio @artnet @galerieperrotin @mauriziocattelan @artbasel #art #conceptualart #banana #sculpture #artbasel #artbaselmiamibeach #artbaselmiami #artfair #artgallery #artwork #whatisart #isthisart #miami #miamibeach #florida #miamiflorida #mauriziocattelan #perrotin #galerieperrotin #artist #bananapeel #ducttape #artnetnews #artcollector #vippreview #artjournalism #artjournalist #openingday #artgallery #gallery #artworld
If you’re trying to figure out how the artist and his gallery settled on the price of $120,000 for Comedian, they apparently tried to strike a balance between an amount that would have been considered insignificant, and one that would people would think of as outlandish. I guess they succeeded…
Comedian has been a hit at Art Basel Miami, with visitors queuing up to snap selfies with it, but organizers aren’t worried that the expensive artwork might get stolen. Should that happen, they already have another banana on hand. After all, without Maurizio Cattelan’s certificate of authenticity, it’s just a banana duct-taped to a white wall.