Commenting on the friendishly ingenious forms which creative aestheticism can adopt, 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 art work, consisting of a banana stuck on a wall with a strip of industrial dub 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 the organisers of the exhibition 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 on the grounds that 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 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 pyaz if not of painting.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.