Fruit


So we visited Miami for Art Basel, December 2019. We jumped off of our plane and quickly into the circuit. At full speed through many fairs, we had NO IDEA of the Banana 'issue' until the next day. I shared this post on IG and someone asked me if it was a banana - I did not even notice until I opened my image again and looked more closely, that it actually was shaped like one, not just its coloring. Anyhow READ:

"One of the best barometers for the mood of money is the art market, which can further be narrowed down to the modern art market. After all, “modern art” can be anything, and come with any price tag attached, which makes it a sort of blank canvas to express how wasteful the wealthy are feeling. A shark preserved in formaldehyde, a solid gold toilet, a light switch flipping on and off: All of these are real examples of “modern art” pieces — some of which earned big bucks from avant garde collectors. Now getting back to that banana… Last week, the super-rich gathered at Art Basel Miami Beach, an extremely chi-chi (pronounced “shee-shee”) social affair with many modern artworks on display. Through some unknown bit of inspiration, the artist Maurizio Cattelan decided to make a new piece of art on the spot for Art Basel Miami Beach. So, he purchased a banana from a Miami grocery store, duct taped it to a wall, and dubbed it “The Comedian.” Was it a joke? Was it a real modern art piece? It was both — that’s modern art! There was great celebration when a collector purchased the art installation — which, remember, was an actual banana, purchased at a Miami grocery store, duct-taped to a wall — for $120,000. Then there was great dismay when another performance artist, in his own bolt of inspiration, decided to eat the banana. (There is no word yet on what the second fellow might owe in damages.) If this all sounds completely ridiculous — well yes, that is actually the point. The current “gilded age” has become so gilded, so unhinged by the perpetuation of rock-bottom interest rates, that super-rich collectors with money to burn are paying six figures for pieces of fruit. That is a sign of mania, or pending mania, if ever one existed. But as we said earlier, this doesn’t mean the mania is almost over. If a mania is what we’ve got, the crescendo — the peak craziness of it all — could yet be months or quarters away. One of the most notable things about the year 2019, from an investment perspective, is how the market has seemingly shrugged off or muscled its way through every risk factor and pessimism point that was thrown at it: Trade war, Middle East tensions, political drama, hawkish Fed speak, Silicon Valley unicorn implosion, the whole nine yards. When you combine that with hints of the art world mood, which feels like an oddball mix of deep worry and devil-may-care euphoria, it creates the sense that something very strange — and big — is coming. Like the $120K banana, this all confirms our research that suggests the year 2020, and the decade that follows it, will be one of the wildest, weirdest, and most flat-out dangerous time periods investors have seen in nearly a century. TradeSmith Research Team

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Coastal Contemporary Gallery
491 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840  401.612.6121

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