It sold for $120,000 (£91,300) just last week – but the artwork of a banana duct-taped to a wall has now been scoffed.
Performance artist David Datuna posted videos online showing himself peeling the fruit from the wall and consuming it in front of scores of onlookers at the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition on Saturday.
Entitled Hungry Artist, he described eating the banana as an “art performance” and said the Comedian installation, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was “very delicious”.
“I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious 🙂,” he wrote on Instagram alongside three videos of his “performance”.
Already fairly ripe when it went up for sale, the original banana was never going to last long.
Fortunately for the buyer, the work was apparently sold with a certificate of authenticity, with owners allowed to replace the focal fruit as and when it is needed.
However, police were reportedly later sent out to guard the artwork once the banana was replaced.
It was one of three editions of the work, with two selling for around $120,000 (£91,000) earlier this week and the price of the third reportedly being raised to $150,000 (£114,000).
Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, who has worked with Cattelan for more than 25 years, dismissed the idea that the artwork is a joke following its sale, telling Artnet that every aspect was very carefully considered – from the shape of the fruit, to the angle it has been fixed with duct tape to the wall, to its placement.
And the original banana being eaten in no way diminishes the integrity, the Miami Herald quotes Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, as saying.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Terras said.
And who knows? Now the art has become performance art, it could be worth even more.
A Banksy painting which famously partly self-shredded just moments after selling for more than £1 million in 2018 is now believed by many experts to be worth even more.
Girl With Balloon is now called Love Is In The Bin, with the anonymous artist revealing on Instagram afterwards that he intended for the artwork to be totally destroyed.
The painting’s owner – an anonymous European art collector – agreed to go through with the purchase after it was shredded.