A statue of a banana with a skull carved into it has sparked outrage after it was revealed it cost a whopping $22,000.
The artwork, named Fallen Fruit, has been erected on Rose Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
The sculpture was commissioned by the City of Yarra and paid for out of the $100,000 taxpayer-funded grant from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
The half-peeled banana with a human skull carved into the top stands 1.8 metre tall.
The half-peeled banana with a human skull carved into the top stands 1.8 metre tall
Artist Adam Stone created the piece which is supposed to reference ‘the 1970s phenomenon of oversized, kitsch roadside objects’.
‘Fallen Fruit seeks to both engage with and subvert this tradition. The work does this by employing the symbol of the banana, anthropomorphised through the inclusion of a human skull, a memento mori to meditate on our Western tendencies towards unsustainable desires and excess’ the the City of Yarra website said.
‘Using absurdity and humour as an entry point, this oversized pop object reveals the ‘infallibility’ of the super-human figure as social myth.’
The sculpture has sparked mixed reaction from residents. Some say they love it, while others are just confused.
Radio host Neil Mitchell questioned why part of the TAC grant was used to pay for it.
Head of Road Safety at the TAC, Samantha Cockfield, told 3AW they were not aware the money would be spent on a banana.
A council spokeswoman said the sculpture ‘activates’ the area. She said it encourages increased pedestrian activity and had been ‘well received by residents and visitors’
‘We’re certainly happy with the entire project, happy that we’ve been able to give more space to pedestrians in that particular location,’ she said.
‘Were we aware there was going to be a piece of banana art as part of the project? We weren’t.’
A council spokeswoman said the sculpture ‘activates’ the area.
She said it encourages increased pedestrian activity and had been ‘well received by residents and visitors’.