Recently, an artwork of an overripe banana duct-taped to a wall that sold for £91,000 was eaten by performance artist, David Datuna after being put on display at a Miami art gallery.
A week later, the banana tree in my kitchen broke under the weight of the bananas and to compensate, I duct-taped them to my kitchen wall. With 6 bananas, I estimated that my kitchen installation was now potentially worth over half a million pounds. All I had to was wait for them to become overripe, sell them and buy somewhere else to live.
Unfortunately, the bananary smell wafted downstairs to my neighbour and he reported me to my housing association for breaking FFP Rules – “flagrant fragrant pollution” – and they visited and said they know a performance artist who can dispose of it for me in an environmentally friendly way by eating it.
And sure enough, David Datuna came round, pulled the bananas from my kitchen wall, peeled and devoured them, saying: “I really love this installation. It is very delicious,” just like he had done in Miami to Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork.
But he’s not the only person to destroy art. Banksy famously shredded his own £1m painting “Girl With A Balloon” after it was sold at a Sotherby’s Auction and Carl Bennett once scrawled over my family picture I had crayoned at school when I was six, saying: “No one’s mum has yellow hair!” Before realising his mistake at home time when she came to collect me.
But it begs the question: What is art and is it allowed to be adjusted or shredded or even eaten afterwards? The banana artwork apparently came with a certificate of authenticity, meaning the owners can replace the banana. Eating the banana did not destroy the artwork. “The artwork is the idea.”
And Picasso said: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” Sadly, meaning that Carl Bennett was entitled to obliterate my mum’s face with purple crayon.