When Hunger Meets High Art: Student Takes a Bite Out of $120,000 Banana Exhibit

In what might be the most delectable twist of art critique, Noh Huyn-soo, an enterprising South Korean art student, recently decided to savor a bite out of Maurizio Cattelan’s prized “Comedian” – a banana artwork valued at a ripe $120,000.

During his visit to the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, the famished art aficionado reportedly gave in to his hunger pangs, having skipped breakfast that morning. His subsequent move? He cheekily taped the banana peel back onto its prestigious spot on the museum wall.

This fruity escapade became an internet sensation after a video surfaced online, depicting the audacious act.

However, in a surprising turn of events, the Leeum Museum decided to be quite a-peel-ing about the situation. They opted against seeking damages or pressing charges. “We were caught off-guard, but the artist was notified. There was no notable reaction from him,” shared a museum spokesperson.

As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that the museum swaps out the aging banana for a fresh one every couple of days.

History aficionados might recall a similar incident from 2019, when performance artist David Datuna, during a visit to Miami’s Art Basel, found the “Comedian” piece too tempting and gave in to his appetite.

Despite the recurring snack attacks on his work, Cattelan remains unperturbed. Known for his satirical masterpieces which often skewer the oddities of pop culture, Cattelan has previously dazzled (or bewildered) audiences with creations like “America”, a $6 million gold toilet, and “Il Dito”, a defiant middle-finger statue positioned strategically in Milan.

The Perrotin Gallery, which previously housed “Comedian”, shared with CNN that the banana serves as a “symbol of global trade, a double entendre, and, naturally, an old-school joke prop.”

However, Noh, the latest consumer of the artwork, had his unique interpretation. He mused to the Korea Herald, “Could damaging modern art also be seen as an art form? It’s taped there, maybe it’s an open invitation to be enjoyed?”

Though some art critics might choke on their wine at such antics, it’s worth noting that Cattelan’s creations – despite their comedic façade – continue to fetch staggering sums.

Cattelan’s first two copies of “Comedian” were snagged for $120,000 each, with a subsequent copy pitched for a cool $150,000. David Datuna, the previous consumer of the artwork, commented, “In my global travels, I’ve witnessed the stark realities of life. And here, we have bananas valued at half a million?”

Since its debut, “Comedian” has not only fetched significant green but has also stirred debates about the essence and value of art. Many took to social media to jest, critique, and question this pricey produce, bringing to the fore age-old debates about the subjective nature of art.

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