Who bought it, Ibu Hatela? A banana stuck on a wall sold for Rs 85.5 lakh
Photo: galerieperrotin/Instagram

Modern art is rather interpretative.

Take Mark Rothko's “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)” painting that sold for $46.5 million at Sotheby's, or for that matter "No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)" by the same artist that sold for $186 million. For context, the paintings are exactly like their description, with patches of colour, each melding into the other.

Another unique example would be Gerhard Richter's “Mirror” that sold for $ 1.1 million.

Or if mere paint is not quite up your alley, how about Cy Twombly's Untitled that sold for $ 2.3 million at a Christie’s auction? If you could visualise a young child writing the alphabet 'e' in cursive repeatedly until they ran out of space and then moving onto the next line, well then you may be visualising something rather similar to this particular painting.

In recent news however, we have a work of art that can compete with any of the above. A banana duct taped to a wall recently sold for $120,000.

Let us take a moment to recall the time Rahul Bose was shocked by the Rs. 442.50 price tag that his order of two bananas came with, to put things into perspective. Also, while we're on a Bollywood tangent (somewhat), let us take a brief moment to recall Ibu Hatela, the villain from Gunda.

According to the Perrotin Gallery's Instagram page, the sculpture by Maurizio Catis called 'Comedian' and is showcased at the Art Basel Miami.

The composition of this particular masterpiece is rather simple: duct tape and a banana. As the Gallery explains, "this piece offers insight into how we assign worth and what kind of objects we value". It comes in an edition of three, with two artist proofs and a Certificate of Authenticity.

While inspiration for his recent pièce de résistance came to Cattelan over a year ago, it had not quite taken form. Back then he had toyed with the idea of using a sculpture shaped like a banana.

"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 for finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana," the post explains.

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🍌 Maurizio Cattelan's new sculpture 'Comedian' at Art Basel Miami marks the artist's first major debut at an art fair in over 15 years! Comprised of a real banana affixed to the wall with a piece of duct tape, this new work is no different than Cattelan's hyper-realistic sculptures lampooning popular culture and offer a wry commentary on society, power, and authority. In the same vein as Cattelan's America (2016), this piece offers insight into how we assign worth and what kind of objects we value. The idea of this work came to the artist’s mind a year ago. Back then, Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana. 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 for finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana. Discover it on our booth D24! — Art Basel Miami Beach 📍 Perrotin Booth D24 📆 December 5 – 9, 2019 — #MaurizioCattelan #ArtBaselMiami #ArtBaselMiamiBeach #ArtBasel #Perrotin — Courtesy Maurizio Cattelan.

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And far be it from us to come in the way of art, but one can't help but wonder what happens when the banana begins to die. Going purely by the picture of the hapless banana affixed to the wall, it does not look to be in the pink of health.

But apparently there is an answer for that too. According to the Miami Herald, owners can replace the banana, as needed.

Also, how exactly does one relocate or appreciate this particular piece? Does someone come and install it in a location of your choice? And when the banana spoils, who replaces it? Suffice to say that we have many questions.

Netizens seem to be of the same mind. Many have also taken to making their own versions of 'art' and the results are...shall we say...rather interesting?

Take a look at what Twitter has to say:

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

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