• gerard van weyenbergh

At Art Basel, a banana taped to the wall sold $120,000. Who are they mocking?

The actuality of contemporary art brings a lot of joyful news or appalling according to the points of view. The latest was at the Art Basel fair in Miami, which ended today, December 8th. On the stand of the French gallery Emmanuel Perrotin, who could sell a refrigerator to Eskimos or socks at a cul-de-jatte, the attraction was a banana. A real banana, very yellow, taped to the wall thanks to a strong gray-silver adhesive tape, which formed a very beautiful oblique with respect to the fruit. He asked for $ 120,000 and got them.

The first buyer is, according to the New York Times, the Parisian Sarah Andelman, founder of Colette stores.

"The world of art goes crazy"

"Art world gone mad" on the cover of the newspaper The New York Post, reproducing the work to the front, to the delight of Perrotin. We do not know if "the art world is going crazy," but we can see that there is still no shortage of cash. A banana weighing about 200 grams with the skin, and the work is planned to five copies, Perrotin can hope to sell the series to 600 000 dollars per kilo (we can think that it will thank the buyers of the price of ribbon adhesive).

The idea and the assembly of the banana are signed Maurizio Cattelan. The Italian artist, who has accompanied Perrotin since its beginnings, is already the author of some resounding works, the most famous being, without doubt, the Nona Ora, a hyperrealist sculpture representing Pope John Paul II crushed under a meteorite.

Is this art, ask some? In my opinion, is this very offensing for people who risk their lives,soldiers, firemen,policemen, for people who save our lives, nurses, doctors,, for people who are educating our children, teachers, educators. These people have to work 2 years to make that type of money. I think it is making "art" look ridiculous, mocking people who have a regular job. "She is delicious"

But, you say, a banana ripens. No problem, we take off the tape, we put a new one instead. What to do with the original? Eat it! This is what another artist, David Datuna, did: Saturday, December 7, he entered the stand of Perrotin, stalled and peeled the fruit before devouring it beautifully, but without paying. On his Instagram account, he commented on his gesture as follows:

"I like the works of Maurizio Cattelan, and I like this installation. She is delicious."

The gallery did not complain: employees were happy to change the banana, and comment gently on a gesture done "in a good spirit." And for a good reason: relayed by the New York Times, it extends the buzz.

Le Monde. Photo AFP.