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Couple Who Bought US$120K Banana Liken It To ‘Unicorn Of The Art World’
By Thanussha Priyah, 12 Dec 2019
Image via Shutterstock
Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian piece caused a furor at Art Basel in Miami Beach last week, invoking debates on the value of art and objects. The artwork, a single banana slapped on the wall with duct tape, racked up around US$120,000 for the individual piece.
The piece has been sold to buyers with deep pockets, but as you might have heard, it has attracted even more controversy after being eaten by performance artist David Datuna. Later on, the space that held the banana was defaced with graffiti that read, “Epstein [sic] didn’t kill himself.”
Since then, the new owners of the US$120,000 art have come forward to back up their purchase. Billy and Beatrice Cox from Miami told Page Six that the artwork is “the unicorn of the art world,” and even compared it to Andy Warhol’s classic 1962 Campbell’s Soup Cans.
Billy Cox and his wife have been collectors for decades, and Page Six reports Billy is apparently part of the Bancroft family, which sold off its shares of Dow Jones to News Corp. for over US$5 billion back in 2007.
The public uproar surrounding the display opened a conversation about the concept of art in society, which prompted them to get hold of it. They wanted to make sure the piece would be “accessible to the public forever,” so as to openly “fuel debates and provoke thoughts and emotions.”
The Coxes are planning to loan the work and eventually donate it to a museum. They explained how “the banana” has garnered the attention of the masses, even those who aren’t interested in art, and further detailed how it has triggered a crucial discourse “about the value we place on works of art and objects in general.”
The couple is aware that the piece is an affordable and perishable produce, supported with a little bit of duct tape, but they will maintain it by replacing the fruit every two days.
Emmanuel Perrotin, founder of the Perrotin gallery which represents Cattelan, explained that the “real value of the work” comes down to its “certificate of authenticity, which includes a manual for installation.” He reaffirmed that the buyers are purchasing “an idea” in the form of “a certificate.”
[via artnet News, images via Shutterstock.com]
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