Move over Maurizio Cattelan, there's a new artist sticking food to the wall and this one doesn't even need duct tape.
The latest piece of art that has casual onlookers questioning their sanity, artist Matthew Griffin is selling a single McDonald's pickle he flung onto the ceiling of a New Zealand gallery for roughly $6,200. Supposedly stuck to the walls of Auckland’s Michael Lett Gallery by only the greasy ketchup-y juices that it was stewing in when it was presumably plucked from its McDonald's cheeseburger home, the new work, simply titled Pickle, is causing a stir among the "is this art?" crowd.
According to Fine Arts, Sydney director Ryan Moore, which represents Griffin, it really isn't up to the artist to determine whether or not throwing a fast food garnish at a wall is considered art. “Generally speaking, artists aren’t the ones deciding whether something is art is not,” Moore explained to the Guardian. “They are the ones who make and do things. Whether something is valuable and meaningful as artwork is the way that we collectively, as a society, choose to use it or talk about it.”
Moore goes on to add that what makes Pickle (2022) work is its novelty, "the way value and meaning is generated [is] between people.” Basically, if it's shown in a gallery and someone's willing to buy it, it's art. Whether the work's hefty NZ$10,000 price tag ends up having any takers remains to be seen.
For anyone keeping tabs on the more incredulous side of art world, a McDonald's pickle stuck to a wall isn't that scandalous. From the Danish artist who tried to pass off a blatant scam as a work to the debate over who was the first artist to make an invisible sculpture, there really hasn't been much that hasn't been passed off as art at this point.
Technically, Griffin isn't even the first artist to stick a perishable on a gallery wall. Infamously, Maurizio Cattelan grabbed headlines at Art Basel back in 2019 with his work Comedian, which consisted of a banana duct taped to a wall. Having sold for $120,000, Comedian is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute with an artist that claims Cattelan copied on of his works which featured a banana and orange similarly taped to a wall. One of the three editions was also famously eaten by New York performance artist David Datuna.
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