Performance artist David Datuna waited two hours until "I was hungry" before eating a pricey banana artwork in Miami, he explained with laughter on Monday after returning to New York. "It's the first time one artist eats art of another artist," he said in a mirth-filled press conference. The Tbilisi-born Datuna, who has lived in New York for 22 years, shook up the Art Basel Florida modern art show Saturday when he ate the real banana that had been plastered to the wall as part of a work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The work had been sold for $120,000. In spite of the price, "it tasted like a regular banana," Datuna said.

Datuna added that he didn't need the publicity. But he basked in his latest exploit, boasting that a video of his "performance" had generated 40,000 to 50,000 messages on Instagram, many of them congratulatory. Georgian-born artist Datuna praised Cattelan, who is perhaps best known for his work "America," a toilet made of 18-carat gold. Cattelan's ideas are "genius," said Datuna, who has never met the Italian. "But I like also what I did." Datuna has previously shown works at the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery in Washington and recently opened a gallery in Long Island City, New York.

In June 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, Datuna created a work with Trump's name in dry ice on a Manhattan sidewalk. The installation, titled "this too shall pass," gradually melted as New Yorkers gawked at the work. Datuna said he has planned his next surprise for the Super Bowl, the National Football League championship on February 2, also in Miami.- AFP