I don't get rich people.
Sometimes you see contemporary art and don't know what to make of it. In attempts to push the envelope, artists can arrive at ideas that may appear a tad too obscure. People are struggling to grasp the meaning behind Maurizio Cattelan's latest piece, which is being displayed at the Perottin gallery for Art Basel Miami. They're also struggling to grasp the reasoning behind someone paying $120,000 USD for it because the piece solely consists of a real banana duct-taped to a wall.
In fact, Cattelan has already sold two iterations of this piece, titled "Comedian", at this price and is slated to sell another for $150K. Considering the bananas he uses are locally-sourced from a Miami grocery store, nothing is stopping Cattelan from repeatedly producing these pieces and raking in as much money as possible at the four-day art fair (which ends on Sunday).
Art Basel is usually talked about for attracting all the biggest names in art, fashion and music to Miami for a bunch of cool parties and events, but "Comedian" is the biggest trending story to come out of the fair this year. Some background information on Cattelan might help make sense of his piece and people's interest in it. He is a 59-year-old Italian artist known for distorting perception of common objects with his work. Perrotin's press release for "Comedian" says it "offers insight [into] how we assign worth and what kind of objects we value." People may also be so eager to bid on this piece because it is the first one that Catellan has offered at a fair in 15 years. “If the banana moulds, a decision on that will be made on site,” Perrotin says.