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The Other Side of the Yellow Banana

Artist: JJ Manford
Courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery
Artist: JJ Manford Courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery

The past week, the art fairs took place in Miami and the sensation of “the yellow banana” stole the headlines at Art Basel. I want to tell you about “the other side of the yellow banana”.

Yes, there is a world of contrived art and social dynamics that in my opinion distort the reality that I saw when I was in Miami. The real story was that there were hundreds of emerging and undiscovered artists whose artwork was being shown by compelling galleries in hopes of selling something and creating newfound recognition for the artist.

There are two million working artists in America. A small few are extended a chance to show their work at one of the dozen or more events and this in itself is a major accomplishment. When something sells it helps finance their studio, pay for art materials and provides a bit of money left over. It creates an opportunity to cultivate more awareness and support that can build over time. Most importantly, it provides some validation . . . people were emotionally moved by the artwork you created which provides the spiritual reinforcement to keep going.

The other side of the yellow banana is green…it is pre-ripened and fresh. It requires some time and space to mature in hopes of being picked and consumed at the right time. I love and support people who do creative things for a living and to me this inspiration often gets missed when we see a stunt that clouds the way we think about art and a story that doesn’t tell the real story.