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. 

25 Years After Her Death, A San Antonio Art Museum Is Displaying Some Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Selena

Entertainment

25 Years After Her Death, A San Antonio Art Museum Is Displaying Some Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Selena

mcnayart / Instagram

If you’ve already given up on 2020, you’re wrong. This year will mark 25 years since beloved Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar. Of course, knowing the singer would have turned 49 years old this year is horribly tragic. However, the legal magic of ’25’ means that copyright law from her last year of life is about to expire. For the first time, some of the last photos taken of Selena are on public display at a San Antonio art museum. Photographer John Dyer had the privilege of photographing Selena for her cover shoot for Más Magazine in 1992 and again for Texas Monthly in 1995. Dyer has allowed for both sets of photographs to be put on display, and the contrast in her mood is striking. 

The second set of photographs was taken just months before her murder. 

Book your flights to Texas, and buy your tickets, mi gente!

CREDIT: @MCNAYART / INSTAGRAM

There isn’t a look or photograph of Selena that a child hasn’t dressed up as for Halloween, that a Guarcado plushie hasn’t donned, or that the public hasn’t revered. From Selena’s purple jumpsuit to her fire red lipstick, everything the artist has done has become part of the Mexican-American zeitgeist. And yet… Selena is still giving us more to take in. The signature piece of the exhibit features the 23-year-old star wearing a sequined bustier and high waisted black pants, black patent leather heels firmly planted on a black and white tile checkered floor with a red curtain in the backdrop. 

The photo is so iconic that the museum has reconstructed a look-a-like set for visitors to take their own Selena-inspired photos.

CREDIT: @MCNAYART / INSTAGRAM

The exhibit, named in both English and Spanish “Selena Forever/Siempre Selena,” is on view at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio’s first modern art museum. “The exhibition pays tribute to ’90s icon, singer, designer, and Texas legend—Selena Quintanilla-Pérez—with a series of five photographs by award-winning San Antonio photographer John Dyer. Selena was the subject of Dyer’s photo assignments for the cover of Más Magazine in 1992 and again for Texas Monthly in 1995, just months before she was tragically killed at age 23,” the museum states.

The photographer noticed how much more muted Selena was in the shoot months before her death compared to three years prior.

CREDIT: @MCNAYART / INSTAGRAM

In an interview with Heidi Vaughan Fine Art, Dyer recalls how “she drove up by herself in her little red hatchback and parked in front of my studio” the first time they met in 1992, as Selena’s career was beginning to take off. “She jumped out of her car with a big smile,” and brought in her hand-made, self-designed performance costumes. The checkered floor print was taken during that first shoot. He recalls that “Selena’s quick smile, infectious laugh, and unending energy made her a pleasure to work with. This was in 1992.”

By early 1995, Selena was at the peak of her international fame when Texas Monthly hired Dyer to do another photoshoot. “She had just finished two exhausting days of shooting TV commercials for a corporate sponsor. She was tired. I had brought a beautiful hand-made jacket for her to wear. I posed her in the alcove on the mezzanine of the theater where the light is particularly nice. She was subdued and pensive. A far cry from the ebullient, excited young singer I’d photographed 3 years earlier. Later I thought her mood might have been an eerie harbinger of what was to come,” Dyer concluded. We may never know what was going on in the emotional world of Selena on that day — if tensions were rising with Saldivar, or if she was simply an exhausted superstar.

Between the time of the shoot and the magazine cover release, Selena was murdered.

CREDIT: @MCNAYART / INSTAGRAM

The magazine decided to use “one of the more somber shots” Dyer captured for the magazine cover which ended up becoming a story that chronicled her death. “It’s a cover I would rather not have had,” Dyer recalled. Tejanos and Selena superfans alike, Selena is waiting for you.

The “Selena Forever/Selena Siempre” exhibit is on display at San Antonio’s The McNay Modern Art Museum for the price of general admission ($20). The exhibit dates are Jan. 15, 2020, to July 5, 2020. Selena Forever/Siempre Selena is organized by the McNay Art Museum, curated by Kate Carey, Head of Education.

Pro tip: The museum is open for free on Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

READ: The Comments in This Photo That Chris Perez Shared of Selena Proves That Her Fandom is Truly Timeless

Cheetos Released The Official Name For The Cheesy Dust Left On Your Fingers And Some People Seriously Hate It

Culture

Cheetos Released The Official Name For The Cheesy Dust Left On Your Fingers And Some People Seriously Hate It

Pixabay

Frito-Lay has declared the cheesy residue left on your fingertips after eating Cheetos is called “cheetle.” Don Cheadle might be feeling some type of way right now. The press release has caused some confusion on social media with many Twitter users refusing to accept that this is the correct terminology and questioning its origins.  

To blow matters perhaps even more out of proportion, actor Ed Helms claims a comedian came up with the word “cheedle” in the 1980s. Some users even pointed out that the term was added to Urban Dictionary in 2005. 

Frito-Lay declares Cheetos dust “Cheetle” in official press release.

“We’ve seen the way Cheetos lovers don their red- and orange-dusted fingers like a badge of honor, and we’re always looking for ways to help them step up their snacking game,” Brandi Ray, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay North America said in a press release. “The only way to truly take popcorn to the next level is to add the iconic Cheetle, the cheesy dust that will entice Cheetos fans to snack on this popcorn all year long.”

The move to bring Cheetle into the popular lexicon comes as Frito-Lay announces new Cheetos popcorn. The snack is popcorn with Cheetle as a topping in two flavors including Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot. 

“Snacking on Cheetos has become a special experience for many fans, including the experience of having the iconic cheese dust left on your fingers,” Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, told TODAY. “We (Frito-Lay executives) have long called that red and orange cheese dust ‘Cheetle,’ but it became clear from our fans the special interest they had, so we knew it was time to share our beloved name for this magic ingredient.”

Where did the term “Cheetle” come from? What is the truth? 

Ferdinando claims that Frito-Lay trademarked the term in 2005. An earlier form of the word was spelled “cheedle.” A 2005 entry in Urban Dictionary defines cheetle as, “the orange, powdery residue left on your fingers after eating Cheetos.” Perhaps, a Frito-Lay employee submitted it? 

“Frito-Lay officially trademarked ‘Cheetle’ in 2005, but the company hasn’t used (it) externally in much capacity until now and haven’t told consumers about it,” Ferdinando said. 

However, the Hangover actor Ed Helms believes the term was invented by Saturday Night Live alumni Rich Hall, who coined “cheedle” in his book sniglets

“An earlier form of Cheetle, spelled cheedle, was found to be one of the sniglets (fun coinages) of comedian Rich Hall in the 1980s, which he defined as ‘the residue left on one’s fingertips after consuming a bag of Cheetos.’ The first known proper use of Cheetle, as such, was found in a finger-painting online computer game as early as 2004 and 2005, after which the name was first popularly defined on Urban Dictionary,” according to Dictionary.com.

Many Twitter users did not know how to feel about Cheetle. 

As can only be expected there were many Don Cheadle jokes, but perhaps the best was the one that differentiated between Don Cheetle (the orange-tanned Donald Trump) and Don Cheadle (the Golden Globe-winning actor). 

Some on Twitter wanted to keep things simple.

Other users were just not feeling the name. Why call Cheetos dust “cheetle” when you can call it “Cheetos dust”?

“I love you Cheetos, but no. It’s Cheeto Dust, end of story. In no world am I ever gonna say I have Cheetle on my fingers, WTF,” one user wrote. 

Helms wasn’t the only one on social media upset that Rich Hall wasn’t getting his due credit. 

“So @Cheetos thinks they have come up with the perfect name of the dusty cheesy residue left on your fingers… Sorry, the name Cheetle was used by Rich Hall on NNTN as one of his @SnigletsOFC back in the ’80s,” another user wrote. 

The future is still unwritten, who knows if the term “cheetle” will ever catch on? Personally, I don’t converse about Cheetos enough for it to ever come up casually. Nevertheless, Frito-Lay’s branding effort clearly worked: we’re all talking about cheetle today.