Things That Matter

RIP To The $120,000 Art Basel Banana, Man Eats It To Make A Statement

You read that correctly: a banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000 to a French art collector at Art Basel in Miami Beach and then a man walked right up to it and ate it. Now, we don’t have a $15 minimum wage and the United States’ poorest people paid more in taxes than its billionaires last year, but no need to worry everything is fine. 

The artwork was entitled “Comedian” by Italian artist Maurizo Cattelan. Cattelan is also responsible for creating an 18-karat gold toilet called “America” that was shown in the Guggenheim’s public restroom in 2016. 

Rest assured, this work of art is not about the banana, it’s about the concept — something you don’t need a material object to understand so why buy it, but OK. 

An artist eats the banana and turns the piece into performance art.

Performance artist David Datuna took the duct-taped banana off the wall and ate it on camera. He called the piece “Hungry Artist.” I don’t know which person we should resent more in this scenario, the person who sold the banana, the person who ate the banana, or the person who bought it? Probably, the person who bought it. 

“It’s not about the piece. It’s an art performance. Maurizio Cattelan, I love him. One artist eats another artist. It’s fun,” Datuna said.

It’s always great when rich people can remind us that everything we need like water and agriculture already belongs to us and is being sold back to us at completely arbitrary prices and there’s nothing we can do about it (just kidding vote for a Democrat, that’s something you can do).  

The gallery truly did not care that someone ate his banana. 

Lucien Terras told the New York Post the artwork was still intact because the Certificate of Authenticity that came with the work of art said owners may replace the banana as needed. Not only do you have to $120,000 for this banana, but you also have to keep replacing it for the rest of your life. 

“He did not destroy the artwork. The banana is the idea,” Terras said. “This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles. But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”

I am not smiling. 

The piece is from Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall art at Art Basel and Perrotin was not pleased that his perishable item immediately perished in someone’s belly. According to the New York Post, when he heard the banana had been eaten Perrotin, who was on his way to the airport turned back in fury. An attendee gave him a banana to cheer him up. These are adults. 

People can’t stop talking about how dumb this whole banana thing which just keeps increasing its power. The banana is our king. 

“That banana has been more photographed than the Mona Lisa,” Terras told the Miami Herald in jest.

There were so many people clamoring to take a photo of an ugly banana with duct tape on at Art Basel that police had to come in to do crowd control. 

“This has been interesting,” said Miami Beach police Capt. Steven Feldman. “The gallery is OK with people taking pictures of the banana. It is a delicate balancing act. We just want to make sure the area is secure.”

According to the Miami Herald for $120,000, Cattelan can buy 631,579 bananas at Trader Joe’s. That’s exactly what I would do if I had that money. I’d just buy more bananas, bring them to Art Basel, sell ’em for $120,000 each, boom – it’s called flipping the package, fam. 

On a more serious note, some folks believe the banana does the entire art community a disservice, while other experts wondered if it was a money-laundering scheme (which is not uncommon in the art world according to the New York Times). 

I think we can all agree that whether the art industry is a joke or not is irrelevant to the fact that the joke is always on poor people. 

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This 14-Year-Old Girl Is Being Called A Hero After Defending Her Family From Robbers Using A Giant Machete

Things That Matter

This 14-Year-Old Girl Is Being Called A Hero After Defending Her Family From Robbers Using A Giant Machete

When it comes to familia, there is very little that we won’t do to make sure that one another is safe and healthy. Whether it be protecting our siblings from schoolyard bullies or helping our abuelos with trips to the mercado, we do what he have to do.

Those instincts are exactly what kicked in for one 14-year-old girl in Bogotá, Colombia when armed robbers attempted to rob her family’s store. She did what she had to do and now her story is making headlines around the world.

14-year-old Alejandra Peréz is being called a hero for her quick thinking.

Last week, a 14-year-old girl used a machete to fight off two men who were trying to rob her mother’s shop – as one of the attackers shot her mom in the chest. Now, she’s being hailed as a hero.

Surveillance video shows the moment the gun-wielding robbers entered the store located in Bogotá, Colombia and proceeded to lower the entrance gate. A second video camera positioned behind the store counter shows Alejandra Peréz sitting beside her mother Nidia Buenaventura, who was counting money from the cash register. 

Once the robbers approached, Peréz grabbed a machete and lunged at the man to attack him. A video camera facing the front part of the counter showed the suspect trying to grab the machete away from Peréz. He then used his gun to hit Buenaventura on the head. After a failed attempt to snatch the machete from Peréz, the man shot the mother in the chest.

The man and his accomplice then ran out of the shop and got on a scooter and took off.

Thankfully, Peréz’s mother is in stable condition.

The mother told Noticias Caracol that she only realized that she had been hit by the bullet when she was being treated at the hospital, where she went for the injuries she received.

According to her, undressing for the exam she realized that she was bleeding. Fortunately, the bullet entered and left her body without affecting her organs.

“My daughters were the first thing I thought, especially Alejandra when I saw that the guy attacked her,” she said. According to the brave teenage girl, her mother’s store had been targeted by burglars in the past.

‘It is not the first or the second time it happens, so I already had in mind that if something happened, take the machete and hit them,’ Peréz said, according to Caracol TV.

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These Terrariums And Fairy Gardens Are A Lil’ Homies Dream Come True

Culture

These Terrariums And Fairy Gardens Are A Lil’ Homies Dream Come True

Lil’ Homies are one toy that we all remember. They little figurines were so much more to us than little toys that we got from toy vending machines. Adrian Ortiz is using them to create something magical and giving people a non-Eurocentric take on terrariums.

Adrian Ortiz is giving Lil’ Homies their own terrariums in which to flourish.

Ortiz understands the cultural importance of Lil’ Homies because it was one of the first times he saw himself represented, like so many of us. The toys were a welcomed moment of representation for Ortiz after spending so many years seeing so many white narratives in the media and toys.

“I started making terrariums with Lil’ Homies in them as the figures because I noticed how traditional fairy gardens were always representing white/European figures,” Ortiz told mitú. “I thought about how perfect they were in size. I wanted to dedicate my art page to the idea of people of color existing and participating in nature.”

Ortiz feels supported from his followers as well as his boyfriend. His art has been a welcomed breath of culturally relevant plant art in people’s social media feeds.

The ongoing pandemic gave Ortiz a chance to dive deeper into a hobby he already had: plants.

“I have always been into plants and nature since I was a kid and I began making terrariums and fairy gardens in the past year to deal with the pandemic like so many others,” Ortiz says. “There is something super special about making miniature tiny living worlds. I wanted to make fairy gardens but I ended up with something halfway between terrariums and fairy gardens but with cholos. So I created the ‘Brown People Indoor Miniature Gardening TikTok’ series on my tik tok account.”

Ortiz’s TikTok account, aptly named @botanical_homie, has more than 7,000 followers showing that people are really into the idea of Lil’ Homies living their fairy garden dreams.

The terrariums are another chance for people of color to be represented in the world.

Ortiz was in an arts school for middle and high school. In that time, the school fostered an understanding of racial injustices and introduced Ortiz to the concept of artivism, art as activism. It was, according to Ortiz, a moment when he realized that he wanted to dedicate his art to BIPOC.

“I grew up and live in Colorado and have seen the lack of access BIPOC have to outdoor activities like hiking and mountain climbing,” Ortiz explains. “These are white-dominated sports and activities that some POC never get to experience. I want to create a world where we can be anything and do everything, even if it’s miniature. A utopia for us to take back what is also ours.”

Ortiz is making the terrariums for everyone, even people who struggle to take care of plants.

Covid quarantining has forced so many people to think they make perfect plant parents. Yet, taking care of plants is something that doesn’t com naturally. Ortiz had to spend time trying to figure out what plants are the best for everyone.

“Part of my challenge in creating these terrariums has been figuring out what kind of plants people can keep alive. They all have different requirements so getting plants should always depend on your space and lighting,” Ortiz says. “I come from the generation of YouTube so I always say do research, it’s part of the fun. The biggest thing about having plants that people don’t realize is that you just have to pay attention to them, often. But again it depends, some plants are indestructible.”

Ortiz is happy to be able to create this art and hopes to make them more accessible.

“If you want to support me and my art work you can contact me via Instagram about commissions,” Ortiz says. “Shipping these pieces is not easy or ideal so I appreciate everyone’s patience as I learn and evolve. My goal is to work on larger installations and I’ll be putting out DIY kits in the near future.”

READ: If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

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