We’re pretty confident the title of this article is a big clue to the topic. It’s been the talk of the art world and discussed all over social media; even making front cover news of magazines… so what are we talking about? Well the infamous duct taped banana of course.
If you have no idea what we are referring to, then let’s have a quick recap…
Art Basel, Miami, is one of the most prestigious events on the art world’s calendar. The who’s who of the art galleries showcase their talented artists work for the rich and shameless to salivate over and ultimately buy.
This year was no different.
Well until Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan revealed his aptly titled work ‘Comedian’ at the Galerie Perrotin’s stand that is.
Sometimes it can be tricky to describe an art work. With Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’ it’s certainly not.
Find a wall. Take one banana and one piece of duct tape. Use tape to fasten banana to wall. Done.
Now if that wasn’t enough here’s the kicker… a $120,000 price tag.
Actually, there’s 2 kickers to this story… 3 versions sold for $120,000 and another, after they realised the popularity and increased the price to $150,000.
Sorry we lied, there’s 3 kickers… the piece on display was eaten by another artist, in the name of art, David Daruna.
Is it just one big publicity stunt?
Now if this all just reads like one great big publicity stunt, you aren’t alone.
That seems to be the opinion of many, many people… and we completely agree… but…
It worked beautifully.
Aside from a certain UK street artist, art for a long, long time has remained hidden in the art section of newspapers, blogs and magazines etc. This humble banana threw a spotlight back on the art world. It caused crowds at the event, resulting in guards to protect it.
It got people discussing and questioning what is art, and that’s a good thing… or is it?
Art is what you can get away with, apparently.
Unlike that certain well-known UK street artist, who’s work also gets people talking, this particular series of stunts, in our humble opinion, has only helped to cement what many have always thought of the art world… that it’s an overpriced, under-talented circus designed to entertain people with far too much money.
Now don’t get us wrong, there are many extremely talented artists out there. Unfortunately, and sadly, most won’t reach the dizzy heights of fame they deserve.
Instead we are presented with nonsense. Nonsense that is justified by beard stroking art critics and therefore becomes regarded as ‘art’.
When the ‘right’ people give the nod, it’s incredible how many others begin nodding for fear of being branded ignorant… and it’s at this point a large case of ‘The Emperors new clothes’ springs to mind.
There are those, of course, who’ll completely disagree. They’ll use examples such as acclaimed artist Marcel Duchamp to justify their opinions.
As Warhol once famously said, “Art is what you can get away with”.
For us, this quote sums up this ‘stunt’ perfectly. Cattelan got away with it and made a decent chunk of cash in the process.
Or maybe he wanted to push boundaries. Maybe the piece IS a stroke of genius…
or maybe, just maybe, it’s a banana duct taped to wall.
We would love to know what your thoughts are. If you have time, please leave a comment below…