Art students react to banana incident

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Jackie Maloney

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Art has evolved and developed over thousands of years, each new technique or style criticized more than the last. When pop art was invented in the 1950s, traditionalists were very skeptical, after having endless years of classic, simplistic and realistic paintings. Every once in a while, we experience the birth of a new concept in art, and it has been made evident through many performances and galleries that the idea that art must have a deeper meaning to be beautiful is being challenged.

David Datuna, a Georgian-born American artist, shocked the art world December 8 with his controversial performance art. First, Datuna duct taped a banana to a wall and sold it for $120,000. However, before the buyer was able to receive the work, Datuna boldly walked up to the wall, ripped the banana down, and ate it. After this astounding performance, artists have started to debate their own works and explore new concepts. Datuna was not the first artist to explore this frank topic. In fact, in the late 1920s artist Rene Magritte created a piece titled, “This is not a Pipe.”

“I think it is really funny,” senior art student Maddie Grant said. “It was just a banana, nothing more, and people will insert their own meaning into the work, but this project shows that absurd aspect of art and how consumerism creates a reaction. People create meaning to show that they are more cultured and what not, but Datuna shows how ridiculous that notion is.”

Grant is an AP Photography student and she is currently developing her concentration. She has explored many ideas and different concepts but she settled on showing art and how it doesn’t really need to have a deeper meaning to be beautiful and successful. People can have different reactions to pieces, but Grant believes it is unfair to critics and viewers to insert their own meaning into the work because it changes the piece and oftentimes isn’t what the artist meant.

This contemporary concept has sent the art world up in storm, and with the Gen Zers taking over, traditionalists and contrarians are being threatened. We are the future and our thoughts do tend to be more modern and abstract, but does that mean that classic styles and concepts are at risk of extinction?

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