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Someone Ate the $150,000 Banana Taped to a Wall at Art Basel. Now It’s Gone Again

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Someone Ate the $150,000 Banana Taped to a Wall at Art Basel. Now It’s Gone Again

  • Cattelan’s banana tempted buyers and hungry artist, who ate it
  • Browning, speckled work a sensation at Art Basel this year
Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian
Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian Photographer: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti, Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin
Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian
Photographer: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti, Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

An infamous $150,000 banana duct-taped to a wall has disappeared again -- this time because it was becoming an unsafe distraction.

“We sincerely apologize to all the visitors of the fair who today will not be able to participate in Comedian,” Galerie Perrotin, where the work was being showcased, said in a statement Sunday, the last day of the exhibition.

The Comedian is the name of the work by the Italian artist provocateur Maurizio Cattelan, composed of a ripe-ish banana, duct tape and a 14-page manual for its installation and upkeep.

If art is a living thing, then the piece evolved Saturday when another artist provocateur named David Datuna unpeeled tape and skin and ate the banana.

“Art performance,” he said. He was a “hungry artist,” adding that it was “delicious.”

Initial price: $120,000, bid up to $150,000. Two bananas went to museums.

relates to Someone Ate the $150,000 Banana Taped to a Wall at Art Basel. Now It’s Gone Again

Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian

Photographer: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti, Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

In its statement, Art Basel thanked the security guards who helped control the lines to see the banana -- or the concept of transience of oblong yellow fruit or something. Enough was enough.

“The installation caused several uncontrollable crowd movements and the placement of the work on our booth compromised the safety of the artwork around us, including that of our neighbors,” the statement said.

“Comedian, with its simple composition, ultimately offered a complex reflection of ourselves,” it said.

(Adds new description of how the banana tasted in fifth paragraph.)