The banana — which is starting to turn brown — was reportedly purchased at a grocery store

By Georgia Slater
December 05, 2019 01:23 PM
Credit: Courtesy of Art Basel

People are going bananas over this piece of art at a Miami Beach international art fair.

The new work from Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan features a real banana fastened to a white wall using a single strip of duct-tape.

The piece was presented Wednesday at Art Basel Miami Beach and is selling for $120,000, with two other editions of the artwork expected to go for over $150,000, according to CNN.

Cattelan — who is known for creating satirical sculptures that make statements about pop culture — titled the work “Comedian,” and the piece marks his first in an art fair in 15 years, the gallery told CNN.

The idea behind the banana is to represent how bananas are “a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humor,” hence Cattelan’s name for the piece, gallery founder Emmanuel Perrotin told CNN.

Maurizio Cattelan
| Credit: Nick Zonna/IPA/Shutterstock

The artist was first inspired to make “Comedian” a year ago.

“Back then, Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana,” Perrotin shared in a press release, according to CNN. “Every time he traveled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze (before) finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana.”

In fact, the banana is so real that the artist recently bought it in a Miami grocery store, which is why the fruit already looks as if it is starting to turn brown.

“Potential buyers should note there are no clear instructions about what to do if the bananas start to decompose,” CNN reported.

In September, Cattelan again made headlines when his piece “America” — an 18-carat gold toilet valued at approximately $1.25 million — was stolen from Blenheim Palace, England.

The golden john, which went on public display at the ancestral home of Winston Churchill, was stolen one night in September after burglars broke into the Palace, causing “significant damage and flooding,” according to the Thames Valley Police.