• Clyde

The Genius of Maurizio Cattelan and his $150k Banana

Why this Maurizio Cattelan work is so good.

Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist. Known primarily for his hyper-realistic sculptures and installations, Cattelan's practice also includes curating and publishing. His satirical approach to art has resulted in him being frequently labelled as a joker or prankster of the art world.

In December 2019, Maurizio seemed to be at it again. Widespread news, pics and video of a banana duct taped to a wall entitled "Comedian" selling for $150k invaded everyone's timelines, conversations and social circles. Everyone, including myself was quick to post something meme-like on their IG feed.

Here's a few things that I bet you didn't know.

1. This was the artist's first major debut at an art fair in over 15 years. This alone was something to celebrate.

2. The bananas were originally on sale for $120k. Two out of three of them sold quickly for $120k. The gallery then raised the price for the final edition to $150k. Those who purchased the art weren't purchasing the banana. They were purchasing the Certificate of Authenticity which gives them the right to reproduce the work, install it in other galleries, lend the license out and/or sell it at auction. That may seem stupid to many, but could be a good investment until the art bubble pops.

3. There were also 2 more artist proofs that sold for $150k at other galleries.

The banana craze was real; and still is. Not only did Perrotin Gallery end up taking down the piece during the art fair, but they made an IG account dedicated to the craze.

Before you go, watch the video below to learn a little more about the art work; and the genius of Maurizio Cattelan. He's responsible for some very cool works that many of your guys may be seen or experienced before.

images sourced from Perrotin Gallery | video courtesy of The Art Assignment (PBS).

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