David Datuna hungry artist $120K duct taped banana food for thought. How a performance artist risked the potential for jail to prove a point and raise questions of what art really is and how to ascertain value.
Maybe he should’ve just scrounged around for some $14.99 Art Basel overpriced peanuts instead?
A performance artist who was filmed over the weekend (see video below) eating the duct taped banana that recently fetched a cool $120K at the Miami art fair (someone obviously isn’t paying their taxes thinks me….) said he only did so cause he was hungry.
Unfortunately for David Datuna that nagging hungry feeling (and free 24/7 PR) could now cost him the $120,000 the Dada concept item had sold for.
So how exactly does a $120K banana taste like?
And dare may we ask, how did the $120K banana taste? Nearly as good as the one I buy down the street from the street fruit vendor for 30 cents (but 25 cents if I bother to walk the extra block).
‘The banana tasted good. It tasted like $120,000,’ replied the du jour performance artist.
Hanging over Datuna’s head is whether he will now be charged or forced to pay the full amount that was paid for Maurizio Cattelan’s fruity artwork, “Comedian.”
Let’s think about it kids. You can devour a box of 25 cent bananas and you will probably still die anonymous- albeit very well fed. Then again for the price of $120K, you can eat a society ‘comedienne’ banana that lets you be part of the joke and the 24/7 media brouhaha. Which personally is what I would go for too. If I was stupid enough or simply bold enough to walk up to a wall and eat to my heart’s content.
Define art? Define value? Define money? It’s all bananas if you ask me:
‘The money means nothing, just numbers and papers. It’s all about ideas,’ Datuna is reported to have said.
Raising the following queazy question. Is it still a crime even if one is performing for the cameras and smiling to boot?
‘It’s not vandalism. I’m a performance artist and this is my performance.’ Datuna insisted.
‘I said I’m ready for anything and you don’t scare me,’ our collective larger than life artist said during Monday’s media free for all. ‘What’s gonna happen in the next few days, I don’t know.’
But maybe the joke is on all of us to begin with? And our idea of money and art and value and those of us who insist on spending $120K on canvases with paint sprawled along the face of the canvas. As my father is wanton to say, can you live inside the painting? Well yes, and many houses too if you sell into a bull market dad- I think that’s the point. But I digress.
The Perrotin gallery has since come out to say that it is ‘absolutely not pursuing any legal action” and “never had any plans to from the very beginning.’
‘No one from the gallery told this Art Basel attendee that he was going to jail,’ a spokeswoman insisted according to the nypost.
Understanding the concept of media hype:
Regardless, Datuna says critics need to peel back layers of meaning in his headline-grabbing chow-down on Saturday. Well that might be a tall order- asking tabloid hacks to look for meaning in a breaking story of conjectures and talking points. Follow the ad dollars!
‘This is the first time where an artist eats the concept of another artist,’ he said.
‘This is how artists talk to each other, we talk by art. This was his art and this was my performance.’
And this is how the media world makes money – we validate such amazing spectacles so the public can’t get enough and count our advertising dollars- the same way the Perrotin gallery and Datuna cash in on their ‘rock star’ status.
And how does it feel to be the one who ate the $120K banana anyway?
‘Everybody calls me ‘Banana Man’ now. I am not this banana eater person — I am an artist,’ Datuna said as he searched for an empty bag of peanuts in his pocket.