With the entire world discussing Maurizio Cattelan’s duct-taped banana (known as “Comedian”) and David Datuna’s eating of same (known as “Hungry Artist”), it’s worth pondering how the attention has affected the market for other works by the artists.
After all, the reason the story captured worldwide attention is surely related as much to the $120,000 that Comedian fetched as the ingeniousness of the work itself.
Gloria Porcella runs Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, with locations in Rome, Miami and New York. She has been representing Datuna for years. In an interview with Fine Art Globe, Porcella confirmed a spike in interest in Datuna’s work. Though best known for performance art and installations, Datuna also creates more conventional “hang on your wall” works.
Asked whether a surge had materialized, Porcella replied, “So much. David is a very talented artist who is unique in his style, his works are all tri-dimensional mixed media and he uses prescription eye glasses; he is the only artist in the world who does that.”
Bananagate spurs sales
Porcella said that the interest in the three days since the banana eating isn’t limited to curious phone calls. “We made 2 sales, [and] we are still working on many follow ups. We sold a small skull and a white American flag.” Porcella declined to share the price of either sale with the Globe but she revealed that the skull went to “a young American collector” while the flag was purchased by “a woman from New York.”
The Globe previously reported that those who collected Datuna’s work before bananagate include the Tisch family, Uri Mermelstein and PR executive Ronn Torossian.
“This is worldwide”
The Globe has learned that Galleria Ca’ d’Oro is planning a private showing of Datuna’s work this Friday for the Belgian Consul. According to a source, the gallery has also received a request to stage a private showing at the penthouse in the new glass-sheathed Zaha Hadid penthouse in far West Chelsea.
As a debate rages along “Yes, but is it art?” fault lines, Porcella offered a final insight.
“I have to tell you something that David disclosed with me that morning. He said, ‘Gloria I had a dream. Today we are going to make a big sale, for sure.’ He made the biggest he could do, as an artist he broke the rules and he invented a live performance of an artist eating the work of another artist. Not only America is talking about this, all my friends from Europe wrote me. In Italy, he got first page of the most important national newspaper. This is worldwide.”