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All of the craziest things that went down at Art Basel Miami

Highlights include a £91,000 banana taped to the wall, which was eaten by a performance artist.

Every December celebrities and artists flock to Miami Beach in the US for the beachside instalment of Art Basel.

This is the younger cousin to the original June version in Switzerland, and is a place to see (and buy) pieces from well-known names like Keith Haring and Cindy Sherman, as well as being exposed to some newer artists.

Art Basel Miami is often considered wilder and more experimental than the Basel event, and this year’s artworks didn’t disappoint…

A banana was taped to the wall… and then eaten

 
 
 
 
 
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The Mona Lisa of @artbasel 🍌

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One of the most Instagrammable pieces of art from the event was a piece by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, which involved a banana duct taped to the wall. Valued at $120,000 (£91,000), the piece was called ‘Comedian’.

Things took an even more bizarre turn when performance artist David Datuna took the banana off the wall and ate it. Datuna posted a video on Instagram with the caption: “I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious.”

Luckily, another banana was soon fixed to the wall in its place. However, it wasn’t back in action for long and the installation was soon taken down as it was drawing too big a crowd and needed security guards to protect it.

This isn’t the first time Cattelan’s work has been targeted – earlier this year his solid gold toilet was stolen from Blenheim Palace.

A sofa was made out of Balenciaga off-cuts

 
 
 
 
 
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Thank you for this INSANE opportunity to all Balenciaga @balenciaga team — Demna, Martina, Rain you make it come true ♻️♻️♻️ / Today we opened the show at @designmiami / THE BALENCIAGA SOFA — BY HARRY NURIEV IN COLLABORATION WITH BALENCIAGA / @balenciaga @harrynuriev For Design Miami 2019 (December 3-8), Balenciaga has collaborated with artist, architect, and furniture designer Harry Nuriev to advocate for environmental accountability by creating a functional artwork using discarded Balenciaga clothing. The collaboration between Balenciaga and Nuriev reimagines a sofa — the center of so many homes — as an example of environmentally conscious design, giving generations of garments and other materials another life. The oblong sofa — inspired by typical overstuffed recliners — is upholstered with damaged or otherwise unsellable garments and off-cuts from obsolete stocks of Balenciaga clothing, encased by scrapped transparent vinyl. Patterns, cuts, and tags within the stuffing are recognizably Balenciaga, a mix of past seasons and ideas. Intended to encourage sustainable practices within design and elsewhere, the piece reflects Balenciaga’s recognition of the responsibility designers have to counterbalance their environmental impact, and dedication to implementing programs that upcycle waste and contribute to a circular economy.

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Last year, artist Harry Nuriev had one of the most memorable installations of Art Basel Miami, putting together a Balenciaga office. He obviously knew he was onto a winner, because this year he yet again took inspiration from the fashion house – this time in the form of a sofa.

Nuriev stuffed a large couch with off-cuts of Balenciaga clothes that weren’t going to be sold, making for an incredibly chic sitting situation. Giving it extra fashion credentials, model Bella Hadid even visited the installation and posed on it.

Dior brought back a retro designer

Dior at Art Basel
(Brynn Anderson/AP)

Dior Men’s creative director Kim Jones decided to hold his pre-fall 2020 show in Miami to coincide with Art Basel. In doing so, he revived a name we haven’t heard in a long time: Shawn Stussy. That’s the man behind Stüssy, the skater brand which emerged in the 1980s and arguably set a precedent for fashion’s obsession with streetwear and athleisure.

While Stüssy is still actually going strong – even if it’s not quite at the height of its powers – Shawn Stussy himself hasn’t been in the game for a while, and came out of retirement to collaborate with Jones.

Madonna’s daughter was in a simulated ‘orgy’

Spanish fashion brand Desigual commissioned artist Carlota Guerrero to put together a performance piece called ‘Love Different’. Artists and models – including Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon – entered the room wearing Desigual, and then removed their clothes and started performing a simulated, fake orgy.

Desigual said the performance was: “A representation in which the catalan artist affects the most basic and universal act of love: the kiss.”

A traffic jam was made out of sand

Art Basel Miami cars made out of sand
(Lynne Sladky/AP)

When you’re relaxing on the beach, the last thing you want to think about is being stuck in traffic. However, Argentine artist Leandro Erlich created a traffic jam of 66 vehicles all made out of sand, sitting right next to the sea. The cars are either sinking into the sand or rising out of it, and the transient installation – called ‘Order of Importance’ – is designed to draw attention to the climate emergency.