A weird monument of a banana in the Melbourne neighbourhood of Fitzroy has divided opinion, and it was vandalised overnight, causing significant damage.
The artist Adam Stone produced the almost two-metre-tall sculpture, which was commissioned by the City of Yarra. The statue is titled ‘Fallen Fruit’ and stands over two metres tall.
The artwork, which was made possible by a grant from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), cost the council $22,000 to construct.
The artwork is part of a larger attempt to revitalise and enhance road safety on Rose Street, which includes other projects as well.
He explained that the painting “depicts” “this type of thought of hubris or overconfidence inside western civilisation, and (it represents) the way we’ve been lured to excess and consumerism.”
However, vandals assaulted the sculpture yesterday night, seeking to steal a piece of it for themselves.
The fact that someone attempted to cut the sculpture in half surprised Mr Stone when he arrived at work this morning. “When you put something out in the public, people are going to engage with it,” he added.
The monument has elicited a diverse variety of responses, with not everyone in the community being enthusiastic about the piece of artwork.
According to company owner Jason Cameron, the artwork is “interesting — perhaps not what I would have selected, but it’s art, and it’s intended to be thought-provoking and stop people in their tracks, and it’s clearly doing that.”
“I’m not a big admirer of the sculpture in general,” another individual expressed dissatisfaction with it.
The sculpture’s $22,000 price tag has gotten a lot of attention, with some people finding it difficult to swallow the figure.
Someone observed that “there are a lot of homeless people lounging around, yet there’s a $22,000 sculpture sitting there,” another stated.
Mr Stone stated that he did not intend for the artwork to be controversial, but that he would accept it anyhow. Samantha Cockfield, TAC Road Safety Director, admitted she was unaware the artwork would be a banana until it was shown.
“We weren’t aware that there was going to be a piece of art that was going to be a banana,” she explained.