The emperor’s new produce


“Is that a banana on the wall or are you just glad to be at Art Basel?”

I was a little late to the party on this one. By the time I was aware of this notorious artwork — the one consisting of a banana and a strip of duct tape — an art critic/prankster had eaten it. Seriously. So the artist, Maurizio Cattelan, withdrew the piece, or what was left of it. (The peel?) BTW, I just love calling this artwork a “piece”, since it so definitely was a piece–of fruit. (Though others might call it a piece of work.)

Yes, I ate my banana too. Here it is, genteelly sliced into a bowl. Not ripped from a wall at Art Basel

What it was called was “Comedian”, and it was fetching some pretty hilarious prices. (I say “prices” because the clever artist issued three “editions”, involving, I am guessing, three different bananas as well as three different strips of duct tape.) Last I heard, one had sold for $150,000.

Incidentally, the photo at the top of this piece is not the real “Comedian.” I was afraid of violating copyright laws by posting a photo I found online, so I just grabbed a banana and made my own — lending new practical meaning to the critical expression “Hey, I could do that.” (If you want to see the original “Comedian”, just click here to read a Times piece about it.) Actually, I think I like my version better; I used green duct tape, which, to me anyway, feels more “of a piece” with a natural banana than the silver that Cattelan used.

Cattelan, oddly enough, has a history of people pilfering his works. His other notorious piece, a solid gold toilet, has also gone missing. But I doubt if anyone ate it.

My banana, continued. Yogurt and granola added. No duct tape required

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Hello, Kitty


‘It’s Art if I say it’s Art’

Okay, I said I wasn’t going to publish a new post till Monday. But I just saw the Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney Museum (details here). And, well, I just can’t help myself. I simply must ‘share’. For one thing, you just might want to go see it. Not only is it ending soon, it’s also the last show that’ll be held in the ‘old’ Whitney — before it pulls up stakes and decamps downtown, where it seems everything cool in New York is heading (oops, excuse me, Brooklyn).

Here, to tantalize you, are some of the pieces you’ll see if you go:

There’s tons more. Like that ceramic sculpture of Michael Jackson with his monkey. And some racy stuff featuring Jeff himself with his then-wife, the porn-star-member-of-the-Italian-parliament Cicciolina. Thank goodness this is a family blog.

You notice that I am not even attempting to play Art Critic here. I’m pretty much in the camp of Art being whatever you think it is. The Dude, for example, thinks something is Art if Continue reading