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Developing a taste for the picture perfect

A banana is a banana is a banana — unless it doubles as a work of art.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 11.39 AM IST
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Commenting on the fiendishly ingenious forms that creative aestheticism can adopt, Rudyard Kipling observed that such endeavours are egged on, ever since Adam, by the Devil who “whoops as he whooped of old/ ‘It’s clever, but is it Art?’”. The poet’s satanic verse has gained topical relevance thanks to a recent episode in which an artwork, consisting of a banana stuck on a wall with a strip of industrial duct tape, displayed in a Miami gallery and reportedly sold for $120,000, aroused the interest, and the appetite, of a self-styled performance artist from New York City who detached the kela for where it was displayed and ate it, thus demonstrating that he had a genuine taste for the aesthetic.

Though it was clarified that the banana in question was the ‘idea’ of a banana, and not a banana per se, and as such was easily replaceable, the incident might inspire others to become conspicuous consumers of the artistic, as one man’s palette can tickle another’s palate. Indeed, closer to home, the new art form using not vegetable oils but actual vegetation might stimulate emulation, perhaps with the onion replacing the banana. However, the price of the bulb being what it is, it might be prudent to substitute the actual tuber with a pictorial representation of it, to obviate the subject’s ingestion by a connoisseur of pyaaz if not of painting.
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