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Student Says He Ate $120K Art Installation Of Banana Taped To Wall Because ‘He Was Hungry’

  An  art  student from Seoul National University caused a stir when he ate a pricey art installation because he was “hungry.” The art piece...

 An art student from Seoul National University caused a stir when he ate a pricey art installation because he was “hungry.”

The art piece in question featured a banana attached to a wall with duct tape. “Comedian,” a work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, previously made headlines in 2019 when it sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s currently displayed at the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea.

The unnamed student grabbed the banana off the wall, ate the fruit, then placed the empty banana peel under the duct tape.

“The student told the museum he ate it because he was hungry,” a museum spokesperson told CNN of the incident. “It happened suddenly, so no special action was taken. The artist was informed of the incident but he didn’t have any reaction to it.”

The museum replaced the eaten banana with a new one. 

CNN noted that “Comedian” is part of Cattelan’s solo exhibition on display at Leeum Museum until July 16. The banana is usually replaced every two to three days and is not for sale.

The banana-centric piece has inspired this type of reaction before. After the first edition of the art installation was sold, a performance artist named David Datuna ate the duct-taped fruit while it was on display at the Perrotin gallery at Art Basel in Miami, the outlet said.

Datuna posted about eating the banana on his Instagram. “‘Hungry Artist’ Art performance by me. I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious,” he wrote alongside a video clip of the stunt. 


Cattelan, who’s been described as “a prankster and a troublemaker,” makes art that is often satirical and puts a mirror up to modern culture. The artist is also known for a solid 18-carat-gold toilet meant to mock wealth and excess called “America.” It was valued at around $6 million.

The pricey, fully functional commode was installed at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2016 and could be used by visitors. Someone stole the piece from Bleinheim Palace in England, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It has never been recovered. 

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