How much would you pay for a banana duct-taped to a wall?
At Art Basel Miami Beach, a massive art fair that includes top contemporary artists and attracts buyers like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, you’d need at least $120,000 to go home with such an affixed fruit, according to multiple media reports.
A piece at the fair called “Comedian” has the appearance of, well, how you’d imagine a banana duct-taped to a wall would look. A gray strip cuts across the yellow fruit, fastening it in place. In at least one edition of the work, the fruit is flecked with brown spots.
It is the creation of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.
CNN reported that two of the three editions of “Comedian” have already sold for $120,000, with the third going for an even larger sum.
Messages left with Perrotin, the art gallery that presented the work, were not immediately returned Friday evening.
It was not immediately clear who bought the bananas and strips of tape. No word, either, on what the buyers planned to do with the fruits once they started to decompose.
For perspective, at 50 cents a pound, $120,000 could get you 120 tons of bananas from your local Whole Foods. That sum could also get you four new Toyota Camrys, 53 Peloton bikes, or 481 pairs of Apple’s AirPods Pro. It is slightly less than double the median annual household income for Boston.
On its website, Perrotin describes Cattelan as “one of the most popular and controversial artists on the contemporary art scene.”
“His playful and provocative use of materials, objects, and gestures set in challenging contexts forces commentary and engagement,” the gallery said on its website.
The Miami Beach art fair includes more than 200 of “the world’s leading international Modern and contemporary art galleries.” It features displays from more than 4,000 artists, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video, and digital art, according to the show’s website.
The show started Tuesday and opened to the public on Thursday. It will remain open to the public through Sunday.
Previously, Cattelan created a functioning toilet made entirely from 18-carat gold thought to be worth about $6 million. That piece, called “America,” was stolen from Blenheim Palace in England earlier this year, CNN reported.
Material from The New York Times was used in this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.