What $120,000 Would Get You At Art Basel Miami

Art has always been something that’s never been understood by everyone and with the recent $120,000 purchase of a banana duct taped to the wall it’s no wonder why. Entitled “Comedian,” the banana duct taped to the wall by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has been all that anyone can talk about concerning Art Basel Miami.

What seemed to not make sense to a large number of people did however make complete sense to Mr Cattelan. It had been in his head to create a work of art that had to do with bananas, a food that he constantly had around him. The main struggle he had was how he would present his idea as a sculpture although opting not to do so seems to have paid off in the end.


The $120,000 ‘Comedian’ was purchased by a couple that believe the piece of art will become ‘iconic’ in the future. Bill and Beatrice Cox made the decision to make the purchase after seeing “the public debate it sparked about art and our society.” The Cox couple plan to loan out their recent acquisition to an unspecified art institution in hopes of attracting new generations to the museum. With the amount of attention the ‘Comedian’ managed to achieve in just this past week alone it’s hard to believe that that won’t happen.

Since a banana will naturally blacken over time the Coxes have plans to keep the art looking “ripe.” It is understood that the banana will be changed every 2 days. The couple state as well that they are “acutely aware of the blatant absurdity of the fact that ‘Comedian’ is an otherwise inexpensive and perishable piece of produce and a couple of inches of duct tape.” They did refer to ‘Comedian’ as “the unicorn of the art world” as well and due to the criticism it’s garnered early on compared it to Andy Warhol’s iconic 1962 Campbell’s Soup Cans.

The rather absurd price tag for a banana and a few inches of duct tape garnered a lot of criticism and has been the subject of many parodies on the internet. People have been taping items everywhere and referring to it as art. However, that doesn’t make everyone else’s representations cost the same $120,000.

What gives the original “Comedian” its worth of $120,000 is its certificate of authenticity. According to Emmanuel Perrotin, founder of the gallery selling Cattelan’s work, the real value of the work lies in the certificate of authenticity, which includes a manual for installation. Perrotin states that “All artwork costs a lot of money” and he goes on to state that people, “buy an idea, they buy a certificate.”