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Maurizio Cattelan: Comedian

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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' is a remarkably simple artwork which created an unprecedented sensation when first debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019.

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.'

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Francesco Bonami is an art writer and international curator. In 2003 he was the director of the 50th Venice Biennale, and in 2010 the curator of the 50th Whitney Biennial. He has curated solo exhibitions of Damien Hirst, Rudolf Stingel, Maurizio Cattelan, Bob Dylan, Jeff Wall and Hiroshi Sugimoto. He is the Artistic Director of ByArtMatters in Hangzhou and a member of the Board of VAC Foundation in Moscow. He is curating Maurizio Cattelan's first solo exhibition at UCCA in Bejing, and Urs Fischer's show at Jumex Museum in Mexico City.

Among his books are the best sellers "Lo Potevo Fare Anch'io" and "L'arte nel cesso" for Mondadori, "Post" for Feltrinelli. A new edition of his "Maurizio Cattelan Autobiografia non autorizzata" is being published by Oscar Mondadori in August 2021. He is a regular contributor for Vanity Fair Italia, Vogue Italia, AD and Il Foglio. His Instagram @thebonamist was chosen as the best one in the art world by Baerfax. He is the author with Costantino Della Gherardesca e Pasquale la Forgia of the popular podcast Artefatti on Spotify. He was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Republic

He lives between Milan and New York.

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