The Art Basel banana, aka Maurizio Cattelan’s conceptual piece-slash-troll Comedian, has caused a viral sensation (nothing at Basel has been this big since the infamous stabbing of 2015). Comedian, priced at $120,000, was the biggest hit at the fair–people lined up at Galerie Perrotin’s booth to take selfies with the banana, which was simply duct taped to a wall. The piece, a comment on what the art world values and why, has become inescapable on Instagram, especially after performance artist David Datuna decided to take the initiative of peeling the banana off the wall and eating it. And now celebrities are weighing in.
A number of stars have taken to social media to parody Comedian, posing with bananas and tape. [Brooke Shields](https://www.wmagazine.com/story/brooke-shields-birthday-beauty-secrets magazine brooke shields) posted a photo of herself in Miami with a banana taped to her face, calling it “an expensive selfie.” Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest did a segment on their show Live! With Kelly and Ryan in which they auctioned off a bagel and cream cheese taped to a frame (proceeds will go to Seacrest’s charitable initiative, the Ryan Foundation). “The bids for ‘Art Bagel’ are pouring in!” they wrote on Instagram. “The proceeds go to @ryanfoundation! Comment below with real bids and we’ll DM the highest bidder!”
Gayle King posted photos of crew members on CBS This Morning with the banana taped above their heads. “Love the crew @cbsthismorning they have many talents.. including art connoisseurs, “ she wrote on Instagram. “Plz note the banana above Mr. Mullen’s head .. leader of the “Mullen cave” biaggio, and Christopher allowed entry ... swipe left for the original inspiration which sold for ONE HUNDRED & TWENTY THOUSAND dollars yet no word yet if CBS version is for sale ... any takers ???”
In addition to celebrities, the banana has been subject to countless memes, was featured on the cover of the New York Post, and was even parodied by the Tampa Bay Police Department. The piece proved so disruptive to the fair that Perrotin was forced to take Comedian down on Sunday morning, before the fair even officially closed. As ArtNews put it, “Is Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 banana sculpture a cynical sign of the times or a thrilling artwork? Yes!”