Someone Duct-Taped A Banana To A Wall & It Sold For S$163,000 At An Art Exhibition

Last Updated on 2019-12-11 , 8:49 pm

Art is subjective.

So, when you look at this artwork, for instance, you might just see a bunch of scribbles on a page.

Image: iloboyyou

But I see a human struggling to make sense of his world. Penning our thoughts on paper helps us think about things more deeply, and the fact that he cannot write intelligibly means that the world is unintelligible to him. And that means that-

OK, to be honest, I just see scribbles too. And the fact that this picture of scribbles sold for $2.3 million boggles my brain.

I’ve seen a plain red painting sell for  1.1 million and a blue painting sell for $43.84 million, but surely nothing can be worse than someone paying $2.3 million for scribbles their 3-year-old child could have made, right?

Image: Giphy

Someone Duct-Taped A Banana To A Wall & It Sold For S$163,000 At An Art Exhibition

According to SkyNews, a banana duct-taped to a wall has been sold by an artist for USD$120,000 (~S$163,000).

The art installation was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan who put it on display at the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition this week.

The work is called Comedian, which I think is pretty apt considering the buyer believed he was paying for art when he bought it.

Apparently, a third edition of the same damn banana duct-taped to a wall sold for USD$150,000 (~S$204,000).

Here’s a picture of the stunning artwork.

Image: EPA

Reader: But… it looks like a regular banana. 

You are correct.

Reader: Taped to a plain wall with some regular duct tape. 

Right again.


This isn’t the Italian artist’s only weird art piece though.

Gold Toilet 

Cattelan previously created the solid gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire earlier this year, which I also had the pleasure of writing about.

Image: FijiTImes

So, why did this banana taped to a wall sell for over a hundred thousand and why do people like it?

Symbol of Global Trade

A spokeswoman for Art Basel Miami Beach told SkyNews that the banana is “many things – a symbol of global trade, a witty double entendre, and a classic device for humour.”

Maybe. But it is also… a banana.

The spokeswoman praised the Italian artist, saying “Maurizio takes mundane objects and transforms them into vehicles of both delight and critique.”

Image: SkyNews

Now, I understand that it might be strange and funny to see a banana taped to a wall for the first time in your life. And some may argue that that is the point of art; to provoke an emotional reaction.

But surely after the first glance and chuckle, you move on with your life and eat bananas like a regular person instead of paying SS$163,000 for one taped to a wall.

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The talk of the town in Miami right now is Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian,” a banana 🍌 duct taped to the wall. Two have already sold for $120,000 at Perrotin 😉 read more, including about the banana my husband, @nnddmmyy, hung on his dorm wall for two years, on Artnet News, link in bio @artnet @galerieperrotin @mauriziocattelan @artbasel #art #conceptualart #banana #sculpture #artbasel #artbaselmiamibeach #artbaselmiami #artfair #artgallery #artwork #whatisart #isthisart #miami #miamibeach #florida #miamiflorida #mauriziocattelan #perrotin #galerieperrotin #artist #bananapeel #ducttape #artnetnews #artcollector #vippreview #artjournalism #artjournalist #openingday #artgallery #gallery #artworld

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Art journalist Sarah Cascone said the artwork is the “talk of the town in Miami right now”.

Whether the talk is “how can one man be so brilliant” or “how can humans be so stupid” is unclear.

Worked on the idea for one year

Cattelan told Artnet that he had been working on the idea for about a year and first created versions in bronze and resin.

“Wherever I was travelling I had this banana on the wall. I couldn’t figure out how to finish it.

“In the end, one day I woke up and I said ‘the banana is supposed to be a banana’.”

I really can’t tell if he’s trolling us. Can any human with self-awareness actually say those words without a hint of jest?

Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin dismissed the idea that the artwork is a joke, saying every aspect of the work was carefully considered, from the shape of the fruit, to the angle it has been fixed with duct tape to the wall, to its placement.

Of course. No one would pay for an upside-down banana taped to a wall because that would be crazy.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I’m quitting my job as a writer at Goody Feed to become an artist. I’ve decided to smear some Nasi Lemak Sambal on my air-conditioner and I’m expecting to earn millions once I place it in an art exhibition.

I will probably take a year off to think about it; which sambal to use, how thick the coat should be, and how many friends and family members I intend to lose.