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US News A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana

14:40  09 december  2019
14:40  09 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Art may be long, and life short, but the existence of a hand fruit is most ephemeral of all. This week at Art Basel Miami Beach, the art world’s premier Champagne-steeped swap meet, no work drew more grins

The New York Times. A ( Grudging ) Defense of the $ 120 , 000 Banana . Art may be long, and life short, but the existence of a hand fruit is most ephemeral of Suffice it to say that works of contemporary art rarely make the cover of the New York Post, but this is Mr. Cattelan’s second recent appearance on

A banana attached with duct-tape  replaces the artwork 'Comedian' by the artist Maurizio Cattelan. © Reuters A banana attached with duct-tape replaces the artwork 'Comedian' by the artist Maurizio Cattelan.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Art may be long, and life short, but the existence of a hand fruit is most ephemeral of all. This week at Art Basel Miami Beach, the art world’s premier Champagne-steeped swap meet, no work drew more grins, guffaws and selfies than a new sculpture by the semiretired Italian trickster Maurizio Cattelan: a banana duct-taped to the wall, its peel already speckled with brown spots.

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In plain sight of art aficionados and influencers, a prankster removed a $ 120 , 000 banana from an Art Basel exhibition in Miami Beach on Saturday, peeled it and then ate it. It happened on the second-to-last day of the art show

A ( Grudging ) Defense of the $ 120 , 000 Banana .

It’s titled “Comedian.” By Wednesday it had already won art-world notoriety, and on Saturday it achieved a public visibility that any artist would envy, after a self-promoting wag tore the banana off the wall and gobbled it up. (Not many iconic art works can also be said to be a rich source of potassium.)

Suffice it to say that works of contemporary art rarely make the cover of the New York Post, but this is Mr. Cattelan’s second recent appearance on the tabloid’s front page; in 2016, he emerged from semiretirement to install a functional 18-karat-gold toilet in a restroom of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which drew snaking lines of art lovers. Now the Italian artist is back in the headlines and the Instagram stories, and his purloined banana has offered the perfect weapon to those who think that contemporary art is one big prank. I can only imagine the “60 Minutes” segment this would elicit if Morley Safer were still alive.

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Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s work, Comedian, a piece of fruit duct-taped to a wall, has been snapped up at Art Basel in Miami.

Two other bananas have been sold for $ 120 , 000 and 0, 000 each. The art is the 'idea'. According to Cattelan's representatives at the Galerie Perrotin, the About 15 minutes after Datuna's stunt, another banana was taped to the wall. Perrotin said it would not press charges. On Friday, Perrotin sold two

  A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana © Getty “Comedian” was withdrawn from view at Art Basel on Sunday, because of the crowds and the hullaballoo, so let us first settle the matter of whether the artwork has been destroyed or defaced. I don’t have much good to say about the random guy who munched Mr. Cattelan’s banana, though it continues a long tradition of literalists who like bringing conceptual art from the realm of ideas back down to Earth. Numerous artists have relieved themselves in “Fountain,” Marcel Duchamp’s upturned urinal; John Lennon, in 1966, notoriously picked up an apple in Yoko Ono’s first London exhibition and took a bite. And thus they met.

For when it comes to the banana’s ontological status as art or produce, I thought we had settled this already. If you buy a light work by Dan Flavin and the fluorescent bulb starts flickering, you can replace it with a new one. If you buy a Sol LeWitt wall drawing and you move house, you can erase the old one and draw a new one. A banana, even more than a light fixture, was always going to require replacement; Mr. Cattelan had already drawn up instructions for the lucky collectors to replace the fruit every week to 10 days (“Everybody changes flowers regularly,” his dealer Emmanuel Perrotin observed.)

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A banana duct-taped to a wall has sold for $ 120 , 000 (£91,550) at one of North America's most prestigious art shows, with another version of the artwork expected to sell for 0, 000 (£114,460). The prized installation, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was unveiled at the Art Basel Miami Beach on

Snapshot: Above, a banana that sold for $ 120 , 000 last week at Art Basel Miami Beach. One of our art critics offered a grudging defense of the work, titled “Comedian “A host said the episode aimed to ‘explain how the E.U. actually works without boring you to death,’” says Mike Ives of the briefings team.

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Maurizio Cattelan’s “We are the Revolution (La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi)” 2000, recalls Mr. Cattelan’s decades-long reliance on suspension. © Maurizio Cattelan, courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York Maurizio Cattelan’s “We are the Revolution (La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi)” 2000, recalls Mr. Cattelan’s decades-long reliance on suspension. As to why Mr. Cattelan’s banana has gripped the public imagination, it has something to do with its price — $120,000 to $150,000, in an edition of three and two artists’ proofs — and the emperor’s-new-clothes impression of the international collecting class fawning over it at Art Basel. (When Lucille Bluth, the doyenne of “Arrested Development,” said, “It’s one banana, Michael, what could it cost? Ten dollars?,” it turns out she was off by a factor of 10,000.) Something to do, also, with the comic potential of bananas. I don’t think that a taped-up pineapple would have got this much viral traction.

I wasn’t in Miami this week, and I feel a little hesitant delivering a critical judgment about a work I haven’t seen in person. Though even writing that, I recognize I am exposing myself to derision. What kind of critic treats a piece of fruit with the same seriousness as a Rembrandt? It’s just a banana, you nitwit!

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Anybody who drops $ 120 , 000 —a truly life-changing amount of money for most American families—on rotten fruit is a rich villain who deserves to be Here’s the central rub with the banana duct-taped to a wall. It is both a funny critique of the absurdities of art and capitalism, yet it is inherently part of that

An artist has described a $ 120 , 000 (€108, 000 ) artwork - a banana taped to a wall - as "delicious" after he ate it. The piece, titled 'Comedian', was a work of art by Italian Maurizio Cattelan The value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper reported. The banana is meant to be replaced.

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Well, is it art? Is Mr. Cattelan taking us for a ride? Did you have to be there? Isn’t this banana just a banana, and not a wry commentary on male sexuality, genetic monocultures, or Central American geopolitics? (I am sparing you a lecture on the Guatemalan coup d’état of 1954, and the origin of the phrase “banana republic”….)

Let me reassure you, you are not a hopeless philistine if you find this all a bit foolish. Foolishness, and the deflating sensation that a culture that once encouraged sublime beauty now only permits dopey jokes, is Mr. Cattelan’s stock in trade. But perhaps you will find more to appreciate in Mr. Cattelan’s work if you take note of two points: one formal, one social.

First, I have been dismayed to discover that for a work that has been endlessly photographed and parodied over the course of its one-week life, almost nobody has discussed that it is not just “a banana.” It is a banana and a piece of duct tape, and this is a significant difference. “Comedian” is not a one-note Dadaist imposture in which a commodity is proclaimed a work of art — which would be an entire century out of date now, as dated as a film director mimicking D.W. Griffith. “Comedian” is a sculpture, one that continues Mr. Cattelan’s decades-long reliance on suspension to make the obvious seem ridiculous and to deflate and defeat the pretensions of earlier art.

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Leave it to Maurizio Cattelan. The first flight of V.I.P. collectors had barely arrived at Art Basel Miami Beach, the art fair that some call the “Running of the Billionaires,’’ and the satirical Italian artist had already won the battle for Instagram. All he needed was a banana and some duct tape.

The now famous $ 120 , 000 banana at Art Basel Miami Beach was eaten by performance artist David Datuna Saturday afternoon. While the banana was indeed consumed, apparently that doesn’t diminish the integrity of the six-figure art work, said Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for

Mr. Cattelan’s retrospective suspended exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in 2011. © Chang W. Lee/The New York Times Mr. Cattelan’s retrospective suspended exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in 2011.

His renowned “Novecento” (1997), a taxidermied horse suspended from a Baroque ceiling like a drooping chandelier, collapses both the martial pomposity of the Fascists and the futility of modern art to live up to classical architecture. “La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi” (2000) consists of a miniature doll representing the artist, suspended from a coat rack and dangling like an air-cured prosciutto. By 2011, when Mr. Cattelan opened his retrospective at the Guggenheim, he diminished all his previous works by suspending them from hooks in the center of the gallery, like laundry hung out to dry.

People post in front of Maurizio Cattelan's © Getty People post in front of Maurizio Cattelan's "Comedian" presented by Perrotin Gallery. Suspension via duct tape, in particular, has a history in Mr. Cattelan’s art. Perhaps the most important antecedent for the banana sculpture is his notorious “A Perfect Day” (1999), for which Mr. Cattelan used duct tape to fasten his dealer Massimo De Carlo to a white wall, who stayed taped above the ground for the show’s opening day. The banana should be seen in the context of this earlier work, which places the art market itself on the wall, drooping and pitiful.

But perhaps you have read all this and thought: this Times critic is as bad as the poseurs at the fair! In which case you have already anticipated my second point: Mr. Cattelan directs these barbs at art from inside the art world, rather than lobbing insults from some cynical distance. His entire career has been a testament to an impossible desire to create art sincerely, stunted here by money, there by his own doubts.

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The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled "Comedian" and sold to a French collector for $ 120 , 000 . The banana is the idea," Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald. As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of

An artwork of an overripe banana duct-taped to a wall that sold for $ 120 , 000 (£91, 000 ) has been eaten by a separate performance artist. Three buyers bought the limited-edition pieces of the banana art this week. But performance artist David Datuna pulled it from the wall, peeled it and devoured it on

Maurizio Cattelan's © Getty Maurizio Cattelan's "Comedian" presented by Perrotin Gallery. In this way Mr. Cattelan is wholly unlike Banksy, the ultra-bankable street artist whose default stance is populist mockery: colluding with an auction house to sell a work that self-destructs, or selling a print of a painting sale with the title “I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This ….” (The title has one unprintable last word.) Banksy’s juvenile, notably British stance satisfies a dismayingly common belief that all artists are con artists, and that museums, collectors and critics are either dupes or hustlers. Indeed, it’s exactly because of frauds like Banksy that audiences believed Mr. Cattelan arranged the theft of his own gilded commode in September from Blenheim Palace, as if every artist was putting something over.

Actually, real artists are not out to hoodwink you. What makes Mr. Cattelan a compelling artist, and what makes Banksy a tedious and culturally irrelevant prankster, is precisely Mr. Cattelan’s willingness to implicate himself within the economic, social and discursive systems that structure how we see and what we value. It makes sense that an artist would find those systems dispiriting, and the duct-taped banana, like the suspended horse, might testify to his and all of our confinement within commerce and history. In that sense, the title “Comedian” is ironic — for Mr. Cattelan, like all the best clowns, is a tragedian who makes our certainties as slippery as a banana peel.

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