Would you eat a $120,000 banana art work?

The Comedian

The Comedian

J.Zheng, Staff Writer

The Comedian was created by an Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan in 2019. It may seem like it consists of a piece of tape and a banana but it also comes with a certificate of authenticity with detailed diagrams and instructions for its proper display. Two editions of the piece sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach. The banana was eaten multiple times on separate occasions.

First Incident

On December 8th, 2019. A Georgian-American artist named David Datuna went up to the painting. Grabbed the banana and ate it. David said eating the banana was an art performance and not an act of vandalism. After David ate the banana the gallery director was notified and David was told to leave the booth and the fair. The banana was replaced and no charges were charged against David. 

A video by BBC news covers this incident .

Second Incident

On April 28, 2023 another person ate the banana. An art museum located in Seoul, South Korea featured art of Maurizio which also included the Comedian. However, this time it was a South Korean art student. His name is Noh Huyn-soo and the reason why he ate it was because he was hungry. He mentioned he skipped breakfast this morning and got hungry. His friend recorded him walking up to the Comedian. Eating the banana and then putting the peel back on the tape. KBS, a South Korean public broadcast, uploaded the video.

Similar to David, Noh wasn’t charged for any damages as the museum replaced the banana. The banana was often replaced to keep the look of the freshness of the banana. With that in mind would you eat a $120,000 banana art work? 

*However if you do ever go to an art museum that includes the Comedian, please don’t eat the banana. Just because some people did doesn’t mean you should as well.