The banana duct-taped to a wall in Galerie Perrotin for Art Basel Miami was recently sold for $120,000. The piece, entitled "The Comedian," was made by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and is one of three editions, two of which have now been sold. But on Saturday, performance artist David Datuna decided to eat the expensive fruit in front of surprised spectators.
Datuna posted a video to Intsagram showing how he casually took the banana off the wall, and ate it. He captioned the post, "'Hungry Artist' Art performance by me. I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It's very delicious."
His expensive snacking caused some trouble with what looks to be Art Basel organizers, one of whom tells Datuna, "This is so stupid, sir." Emmanuel Perrotin, the owner of the art gallery, was also visibly upset. According to The Miami Herald, he missed his flight the moment he heard the banana was eaten.
Still, Lucien Terras, director of museum relations told TheHerald, "He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea." This, apparently, is where the artwork's Certificate of Authenticity comes in. When art collectors purchase art like a banana taped to a wall — which isn't meant to last — in actuality they're purchasing the certificate, and not the piece itself.
Perrotin and a gallery assistant later stuck a borrowed banana from a fair goer to the empty spot where "The Comedian" is meant to be.