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BANANA ARTWORK EATEN BY A SEOUL MUSEUM VISITOR

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BANANA ARTWORK EATEN BY A SEOUL MUSEUM VISITOR

BANANA ARTWORK EATEN BY A SEOUL MUSEUM VISITOR

In December 2019, an artwork by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan made headlines around the world after a museum visitor in Seoul, South Korea, ate the piece. The artwork in question, titled “Comedian,” consisted of a single banana duct-taped to a wall, and was reportedly worth $120,000. In this blog post, we will explore the background of the artwork and the controversy it sparked.

Background of the Artwork

” Comedian” was first exhibited at the Galerie Perrotin in Miami during the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair in December 2019. The artwork quickly gained widespread attention due to its absurd simplicity and high price tag. The gallery reportedly sold three editions of the artwork for $120,000 each. The artwork was also seen as a commentary on the art world’s obsession with value and consumerism. By placing a common fruit on a pedestal, Cattelan was highlighting the absurdity of the art market and questioning the value we place on certain objects.

The Incident in Seoul

A few days after the artwork was exhibited at the fair, a performance artist named David Datuna entered the gallery and ate the banana off the wall. He later posted a video of the act on social media, which quickly went viral. Datuna claimed that his act was a form of artistic expression and that he wanted to question the meaning of art and the value we place on it.
The incident sparked widespread controversy and debate. Some viewed it as a form of vandalism, while others saw it as a legitimate form of artistic expression.

Many also questioned the value of the artwork itself, given that it was essentially just a banana duct-taped to a wall. After the incident, the Perrotin gallery replaced the banana with another one and added a disclaimer that the artwork should be replaced every few days. However, the gallery also capitalized on the controversy by selling three additional editions of “Comedian” for $150,000 each.

The Legacy of “Comedian”

The incident with “Comedian” sparked important discussions about the role of art in society and the value we place on it. Many argued that the artwork was more about the concept and commentary on the art market than the physical object itself. Others questioned the role of museums in the modern world, and whether they should be showcasing art that is more about shock value and publicity than actual artistic merit. Despite the controversy, “Comedian” remains a notable piece in the contemporary art world. It has been exhibited at several major galleries and museums around the world and has been the subject of numerous articles, essays, and debates. It also reflects a broader trend in contemporary art towards conceptual pieces that challenge our preconceived notions of what art is and what it can be.