According to media reports, a South Korean art student ate a piece of artwork worth $120,000, which consisted of a banana taped to a wall, citing hunger as the reason.
As reported by The Guardian, Noh Huyn-soo was captured on video peeling and removing the fruit at the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, while onlookers were left stunned. He subsequently affixed the banana skin to the wall using the same duct tape before departing from the scene.
The Korea Herald reported that museum officials questioned Noh Huyn-soo about consuming the fruit, to which he replied that he had skipped breakfast and was hungry. According to KBS, a broadcast station, he also purportedly stated that "damaging a work of modern art could also be [interpreted as] artwork."
"I thought it would be interesting … isn’t it taped there to be eaten?" he added.
— Britasha (@ACUnicorn2) May 1, 2023
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan's artwork "Comedian" featured the banana that was eaten by Noh Huyn-soo. The piece was initially sold for $120,000 at Miami Art Basel in 2019. Notably, during its debut exhibition, performance artist David Datuna also removed and consumed the fruit.
The same Italian artist who created "Comedian," Maurizio Cattelan, was also responsible for offering the White House a gold toilet on loan from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The Guggenheim had declined a request to exhibit Vincent van Gogh's 1888 painting "Landscape With Snow" in the White House and suggested the toilet as an alternative.
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