The Oddities in the News Page

On this month's Oddities in the News Page:

Banana duct-taped to wall sells for $120G at Miami art event...and then someone eats it


What’s really in Loch Ness
Shark Tooth DNA
Military Admits to UFOs
Wild Animal Pets
Flinstone House



On December 5, 2019, an odd piece of artwork that consists of a banana duct-taped to a wall has sold for $120,000 at a Miami, Florida art fair. The piece, titled "The Comedian," was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

The event is a star-studded affair that occurs every December and includes parties and shows. The price tag of "The Comedian" has spurred criticism of wealth inequality and materialism.



Humor and satire are at the core of Maurizio Cattelan's work. This approach has often seen him labeled as an art scene joker or prankster.

He has been described by Jonathan P. Binstock, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art "as one of the great post-Duchampian artists and a smartass, too".

Discussing the topic of originality with ethnographer, Sarah Thornton, Cattelan explained, "Originality doesn't exist by itself. It is an evolution of what is produced. ... Originality is about your capacity to add. His work was often based on simple puns or subverts clichéd situations by, for example, substituting animals for people in sculptural tableaux. "Frequently morbidly fascinating, Cattelan's humor sets his work above the visual pleasure one-liners," wrote Carol Vogel of the New York Times.



New York man eats art banana that sold for $120G

Remember the banana duct-taped to a wall and labeled “art” that sold for $120,000? On Saturday, a New York man walked up to the art installation and ate the banana.

The banana art, titled "Comedian," was the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It's a part of Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The piece sold for $120,000 to a French art collector.

Around 1:45 p.m. in front of a convention center full of art lovers, New York-based performance artist David Datuna ate the banana. He called it "Hungry Artist."

A dismayed Peggy Leboeuf, a partner at Perrotin Gallery, frantically told Datuna, “But you’re not supposed to touch the art!”

The gallery reported the incident to security, but Datuna slipped away. The gallery reported the incident to security, but Datuna was not arrested.

Lucien Terras, director of museum relations, said the work was still salvageable.

The work came with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a disclaimer that owners may replace the banana as needed. “He did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea,” Terras said. Apparently the collectors are buying the certificate -- the banana is not made to last.

Perrotin, the gallery owner, was on his way to the airport when he heard the banana had been eaten. Immediately enraged, he turned around and headed back to the gallery. One of the gallery viewers tried to cheer him up by handing him another banana.

Perrotin and a gallery assistant taped the new banana back to the wall.

See more HERE

This just in:

Man who ate the $120,000 banana art installation says he isn't sorry and did it to create art

Datuna called Cattelan "one of the top artists in the world." When asked how that was possible if he ate his art, Datuna insisted that he did not consider the performance as defacing another artist's work and even called the duct taped banana a genius idea.

"In this case, it's not like I ate art," Datuna said. "Like the gallery said, it's not a banana, it's a concept. And I just ate the concept of the artist. So I think this is cool, this is fun, this is what art is about. I call the performance, 'Hungry Artist,' because I was hungry and I just ate it," Datuna said. "This is how artists talk with each other. We talk by art. This was his art and this was my performance."







































What makes art valuable?

Technically, what makes anything valuable is the fact that someone is willing to pay for it. That is the definition of value. However, I think what you really want to know is why are people willing to pay the prices they do for art? What brings them to a value decision?

There are overall decisions made about the artistic quality of any artwork. Is it well-painted, well-composed? Does it have originality for the time in which it was created, or is it mundane? Was it created by an artist with a significant artistic reputation and is it within the kind of work for which that artist is celebrated? Is the work artistically desirable in the present (or has it for some reason become undesirable, even reprehensible)? Is the work in good physical condition?

For a living artist, rising to the top, or even close to it, generally involves being accepted by a major gallery, by museums, purchase by significant collectors, and articles in art magazines. This can, of course, also have a great deal to do with connections and who one knows. It also has a lot to do with the artist’s determination and drive. Nonetheless, these constitute the “third party” notices that tell the world that there is value in this artist and this artwork. Yet even this does not mean that the artist or the artwork will endure over time.

There are thousands of artists who were famed in their time. You have never heard of them, and never will. Value that endures is only for the very rare. It is reserved for art that either signaled some kind of profound change, or art that is generally well-crafted and has all of those qualities that human beings respond to throughout time: intellect, emotion, and spirit.

See more HERE

And then there's Banksy

He's worth millions, yet he still paints anonymously on the street