Published: Fri, December 06, 2019

Duct-taped banana artwork sells for $17,500

Duct-taped banana artwork sells for $17,500

Cattelan did not expound on the meaning of the artwork to Artnet, but Perrotin told CNN that bananas are "a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humor" and that Cattelan has form in transforming everyday objects into "vehicles of both delight and critique".

So what if a crafty collector dug through the trash for the final unsold edition of the banana or, worse, tried to steal the fruit while visiting the gallery's pop-up at the annual art fair?

The work, by Maurizio Cattelan, was presented Wednesday by Perrotin, a contemporary art gallery founded in Paris that has had a long association with the Italian artist.

Cattelan - who picked the banana for his artwork from a Miami supermarket - has reportedly chose to sell the third edition to a museum, with two institutions already having expressed interest.

A spokesperson for Art Basel Miami Beach told Sky News: "After a 15-year hiatus, Maurizio has returned to the worldwide art fair, and we are so fortunate to collaborate with him". The price bump doesn't appear to have deterred interest, as two institutions have already expressed interest in acquiring the fruit. "It's a miracle. I don't know how this happened", Perrotin told Artnet. "Every time he travelled, 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, finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana", the statement said. Cattelan's latest work has similarly set tongues wagging. The surreal traffic jam depicts 66 life-sized sculptures of cars and trucks stuck in an imaginary traffic jam on the oceanfront of popular Lincoln Road.

In 2016, the toilet was on display at New York's Guggenheim Museum where it was reportedly used by 100,000 people.

The functioning toilet - titled "America" - had been part of Cattelan's exhibition "Victory is Not an Option".

"In the end, one day I woke up and I said, 'The banana is supposed to be a banana.'" Indeed. A reward has been offered for the toilet's safe return, though it is yet to be recovered.

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