Art may be long, and life short, but the existence of a hand fruit is most ephemeral of all. Last week, at Art Basel Miami Beach, the art world's premier champagne-steeped swop meet, no work drew more grins, guffaws and selfies than a new sculpture by the semi-retired Italian trickster Maurizio Cattelan: a banana duct-taped to the wall, its peel already speckled with brown spots. It's titled Comedian.
By last Wednesday, it had already won art-world notoriety, and on Saturday it achieved a public visibility that any artist would envy, after a self-promoting wag tore the banana off the wall and gobbled it up. (Not many iconic artworks can also be said to be a rich source of potassium.)