In this week’s ‘why-haven’t-we thought-of-this-before’ episode, an artist named Maurizio Cattelan duct-taped a ripe banana to a wall and charged it US$120,000 (S$163,000) at the Art Basel Miami Beach recently.
Naturally, netizens went bananas over the art piece entitled ‘Comedian’ and its eye-popping price tag. A performance artist had the perfect comedic response to it: he ate the fruit in front of a very stunned crowd.
It wasn’t the first time that Cattelan, who is known for his pop culture sculptures, was in the news. He once created an 18-carat-gold toilet valued at US$6 million before it was ripped off a wall in the UK.
Not surprisingly, popular brands like Popeyes, 99 Old Trees, Carrefour, have been jumping on the bandwagon by creating their own duct-tape ‘art’ pieces.
Here are some of the funniest campaigns seen so far:
99 Old Trees durian cafe in Singapore taped one of its ‘prestigious’ mao shan wang durians to a wall, with a price tag pegged at around the same level as the “Comedian”, except in local dollars:
“Durian Tape to White Wall.
Looks like Art, Smells like Fart.
A durian bondage art as a reminder of our forefathers' past struggles. The duct tape signifies the oppression from our colonial past.
Very meaningful art.
$163,056 GST we absorb.
Don't say we buay steady. Buy before GST increase.
Include duct tape and Pahang MSW 2.15kg (will rot in 3 days)
Wall not included.
DM us if interested.”
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has ingeniously duct-taped an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on a wall, calling it “The Lifesaver.” The SCDF’s message for the “art” piece is that life is priceless and its ubiquitous AEDs placed in the HDB heartland can help save lives:
“This 'art piece' does not come at a shocking price. But, as we always say, you cannot put value to a life saved.
You may have come across these 'wall art' installations in your housing estates though they are usually safely stowed in metal casings.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now readily available at HDB estates thanks to the Save-A-Life Initiative, with an AED for every two HDB blocks.
Be a Community First Responder, download the myResponder App today. #ANationOfLifesavers”
Events and exhibition organiser S-Lite Group duct-taped a traffic cone to a patch of astroturf and asked if it was worth a price tag of US$120,000.
Not to be outdone, French hypermarket Carrefour taped its range of what else but bananas and fresh vegetables sans the crazy price tag.
Entitled “The Sandwich”, popular fast-food chain Popeyes stuck a chicken burger to a wall and priced it at US$120,003.99 (really, with the 99 cents too?). According to news site Thrillist, a buyer apparently has the appetite for it and inquired about making a purchase. But it is all for a good cause to raise money for Popeyes’ charity foundation and assist communities in need of food.
Don’t eat the art. Even though it’s delicious. Go see our masterpiece “The Sandwich” at @Sanpaulgallery for #ArtBasel.— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) 7 December 2019
Toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo, duct tape on canvas. $120,003.99 🤩 🎨 pic.twitter.com/xzpc7Jttsk
Clean and Green Singapore
What better way to remind us folks to NOT litter, but with a piece of uhm, peeled banana visual? Clean and Green Singapore does it best:
“There's a fine line between fine art and a fine mess. 😉”
In case if you are wondering about the “-$2,000” tagged under the banana skin, it is the maximum fine for a first court conviction for littering in Singapore.
Insurance planning company Manulife has an invaluable message for people to eat healthily: “Could a fruit really be worth $120,000? We say yes – if it helps you maintain a well-balanced diet and stay healthy. Those are invaluable returns, so enjoy our local favourites below and their amazing health benefits! And as a bonus: how about some premium discounts for you? #DontSayBoJio”
Royal Canadian Mint company cleverly stuck a two dollar coin to the duct-taped banana ‘art’. A penny for your thoughts regarding the art piece?
Soft drink giant Pepsi is daring consumers to name a price for its taped can drink. Maybe there is a thirst in the market for a piece of canned art?