Damien Hirst and the obsession with Cattelan’s duct-taped banana

The controversial British artist to receive his personal copy of Comedian asked the curator Francesco Bonami for help, offering in exchange any one of his works.

Artist Damien Hirst – best known for his contradictory and provocative works, including bodies of animals stuffed and immersed in formaldehyde – revealed how he was so determined to buy an edition of Comedian, the banana glued to Art Basel Miami's wall by Maurizio Cattelan, that he even offered to exchange any of his works for an edition of the viral work.

Hirst, infact, was so enamoured of Cattelan’s latest controversial work – a real banana taped to a wall during Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 at the stand of the Parisian gallerist Perrotin, sold for 120,000 dollars – that he asked his curator friend Francesco Bonami for help. “I was desperate to buy this artwork from Maurizio Cattelan, called Comedian, because I love it so much,” wrote Hirst in his Instagram post, with colorful emoticons. “I asked my friend and curator Francesco Bonami to ask Maurizio if he had a A.P. he could sell me or if he would make me a special one? I offered him to exchange it for something of mine? But sadly he said no! Wahhhh!”

Apparently feeling sorry for the artist, Bonami created his own version and sent it to Hirst as a gift, to the condition, however, that the artwork was installed so that it pointed in the opposite direction of Cattelan’s work. “This is now on my wall and I love it, he said the banana has to point the opposite way. Thanks Francesco and thanks for trying! Or should I call you Francesco Bananami from now on?” ironically concludes the artist.

Opening image: Maurizio Cattelan, Comedian, 2019. On show at Perrotin’s stand at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019.

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