Banana Duct-Taped to a Wall Sells for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami and I’m Not Okay

It’s rotten even if the banana’s not.

I guess Arrested Development was right, there’s always money in the banana stand.

First, let’s be clear, this is not satire.

The artist, Maurizio Cattelan, actually sold two of these sticky bananas. That’s right, a piece of fruit you can buy for less than a dollar at your local grocer has sold for $120,000, twice, at an art fair, proving beyond a reasonable doubt the 1% have way more money than they know what to do with.

And I move, since we clearly can’t afford bananas anymore, that it’s time to eat the rich.

Just kidding, sorta.

While we all know the art world is no stranger to insane prices, this so-called piece of art is problematic for us because it’s either going to be eaten, or rot and end up in some fancy lad’s compost bin. Our poor people brains just can’t comprehend it.

Now, to be fair, there is a name for this type of art. It’s called ephemeral art, which plainly put means temporary. Examples of similar artwork would be sand castles or ice sculptures. They’re transitory in nature, i.e. they won’t be around for long. I suppose if you wanna get galaxy brain deep on us everything is technically ephemeral on a long enough time scale. Womp womp, cue existential dread.

Just think about it. A lot of rich folks buy art to display as a show of wealth. That makes sense. This banana gag is stupid dumb to us because the buyer is literally throwing their money away on overripe produce they won’t be able to resell. There goes the investment side of buying and selling art.

I’m not the only one with my head spinning either. The art world has no clue what to do with ephemeral art or performance art. Some artists don’t wanna monetize it and the rest have no idea how.

The fact that Cattelan even pulled this off is pretty legendary. A piece on CNN claims he hadn’t entered anything into an art fair for 15 years. Let’s assume he was waiting all that time for peak income inequality so he could achieve maximum impact. Great timing, sir. Well played.

It’s either a sheer act of creative genius or a stroke of dumb luck. Quite possibly both.

Anyway, after all is said and done, the only thing the buyer of the duct-taped banana will have left is the experience. Technically priceless, but impossible to sell. Well, at least until we can trade memories, which I assume will happen in our soon to come dystopian cyberpunk future.

In banana mans further defense, we all spend money on ephemeral things like duct-taped bananas. Whenever you’re paying for something that’s solely an experience, that’s a banana.

Thinking about it like that, it meshes with the mindset of experiences are more important than things really well, and that’s a sentiment most people would tend to agree with.

That being said, I guess us 99 percenters are all just victims of sticker shock after getting a peek at the price tags of rich people’s experiences. It turns out their fun times can be a bit more expensive than your average escape room.

Artist and blogger. I help people bring more art into the world: natedoesart.com

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