That's bananas: Modern ‘art' sells for $120K at Art Basel

That's bananas: Modern ‘art' sells for $120K at Art Basel

Two of the three editions of Maurizio Cattelan's "Comedian" (being photographed at Art Basel Miami 2019),  which features a banana duct-taped to a wall, have reportedly sold for $120,000. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

MIAMI — A banana, purchased from a grocery store and duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000 at the glitzy Art Basel international art show in Miami this week.

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Actually, two of three editions of the duct-taped banana sold at that price on Wednesday. The third is now for sale for $150,000, Artnet reported.

The artwork -- a banana purchased from a Miami grocery store and then stuck to a wall with a single piece of duct tape -- was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan for Galerie Perrotin.

It was his first piece for the show in 15 years, CNN reported.

The sculpture, titled "Comedian," might not be so bananas.

"(The artwork is) a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humor," gallery founder Emmanuel Perrotin told CNN.

Cattelan is a well-known artist whose work satirizes pop culture. His 18-carat gold toilet titled "America," valued at around $6 million, was stolen from Bleinheim Palace in England in September. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the theft. The toilet has not been recovered, CNN reported.

But why did Cattelan decide on a banana?

"Back then, Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana," according to a statement from the gallery. "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 (before) finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana."

Art Basel, Miami's prestigious art fair, is an international art event that attracts celebrities and artists from across the world. The event is held in three cities each year, Basel, Switzerland, Miami and Hong Kong.