Maurizio Cattelan: Comedian

2 min read  ·  24 Jun 2021

Curator Francesco Bonami unpacks one of the most illustrious artworks of the 21st century, Maurizio Cattelan's Comedian.

Consisting of a single banana duct-taped to a wall, Comedian (2019) by Italian Artist Maurizio Cattelan is a remarkably simple artwork which created an unprecedented sensation when first debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019.

Comedian includes a certificate of authenticity along with detailed instructions for its proper display, intended for its owner to use when displaying the work. Both the banana and the duct tape can be replaced as needed.

Although priced at $120,000, Bonami argues that the work's real value is in the philosophy that it creates around objects, suggesting the work prompts us to think 'more about what art is and what art is supposed to do in your life. Is art a commodity that people just acquire as anything else? Or is art a container of a message, and it doesn't matter what the container is, the important thing is what it says, and what is conveyed to the viewer.

"It created a sensation that lasted–and is still lasting–into the memory and the present of the art world and the world in general. He created a sign that went beyond the border of the art world, beyond the border of the art fair, and invaded the collective imagination of the world."

- Maurizio Cattelan