The art work that moved the world from Miami
This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Whatever else the coverage of Maurizio Cattelan’s latest work of art, the banana duct-taped to a wall named Comedian, was—a frenzy that devolved into a cacophony of acting out and one upmanship—it was also the epitome of the art world. From the crowds at Galerie Perrotin’s booth to the mocking cover of the New York Post to Jerry Saltz’s Twitter screeds, the reaction to the success of Cattelan’s work proved that the art world is nothing if not predictable.
Commentators jumped to the conclusion that the work was somehow a commentary on income inequality (it wasn’t;) that the artist was engaged in a cynical prank (there’s plenty of evidence that the work is sincere;) or that the work was derivative of or inferior to other banana-based works (turns out there’s a lot of banana-based art.)
No one appeared able to sit this one out, including the self-proclaimed performance artist who ate the banana and the bizarre conspiracy theorist who scrawled “Epstein didn’t kill himself” on the wall of the gallery booth after the art work was removed on Sunday. The final only-in-the-art-world thing left yet to happen is for Kenny Schachter to chronicle how he had the inside track on buying one of the bananas but got screwed by the dealer.
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