“Pickle” by Matthew Griffin
2019, Maurizio Cattelan had taped a banana to the wall for Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 and previously sold it for $120,000 someone ate it. A similar incident has reported today regarding price and plot. Australian artist Matthew Griffin commissioned a MC Donalds Burger, entered Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, took a pickle from what he thought was food and threw it at the gallery ceiling as one exhibition design. Now the gallery says public art costs 10,000 NZD (approx. 6,300 USD at the time of publication of the story), 100 times that Citizens Original price.
Fine Arts, Sydney – the gallery representing the artist – even calls the stunt a stunt sculpture, on Michael Lett’s show now through July 30th. Titled ‘pickle’, The sculpture forms part of the exhibition of works from the Fine Arts, Sydney programme, hosted by Michael Lett, which is on display at their gallery space on Karangahape Road. The show includes four new works by each of the four artists represented by the gallery, each on display for the first time. The themes touching on these works, including Pickle, relate to impermanence, distance and time. From here, hurling the cucumber off the ground and up is an example of distance.
Images courtesy of Michael Lett and Fine Arts, Sydney | Matthew Griffin, “Cucumber,” 2022
Is McDonald’s Pickle Art Now?
While it may seem like a prank at first, the caption reads Fine Arts, Sydney Instagram post can overthrow the thought. The gallery even released the detailed ingredients of the McDonald’s burger to accompany the sculpture. Viewers have commented with mixed reactions, with one of them leading the discussion ‘Part of a rich late-night tradition.’ Another user shared his story in writing “When I was a teenager, I got kicked out of a McDonald’s by the police for it. Now it’s art.” Other users simply left an emoji as a comment that was well received with the kind they sent.
Ryan Moore – the Director of Fine Arts, Sydney – narrated The guard that he values his artist’s work through his use of humor, a common theme in contemporary art, and the way he challenges values created between people. He shares that he doesn’t mind identifying Griffin’s work as art, stating that the role of artists in general is to make and do things, not to decide if something is art is or not.
Matthew Griffin, “Cucumber,” 2022
Part of the Fine Art, Sydney exhibition
The exhibition below Michael Lett through Fine Arts, Sydney is accompanied by artist Juliette Blightman’s work consisting of a potted plant and sound played through a small speaker. The plant is a “Pseudopanax”, which is also the title of the work. The sound lasts an hour, loops continuously, and features an ambient shot of a tranquil landscape that crescendos with layers like nightclub music, vocals, and the screech of rush hour subway trains. On one wall hangs a work by Prudence Flint, a pencil drawing on paper of a seated woman eating a banana. Then a work by Yona Lee points to a sculpture comprising a structure of welded stainless steel tubing on the wall with electric light and lampshade. The exhibition includes the parts of her room: a drawing and a lamp on the wall, a plant on the floor and a pickle on the ceiling.
Close up of Griffin’s cucumber art on the gallery ceiling
Juliette Blightman, ‘Pseudopanax’
the exhibition at Michael Lett by Fine Arts, Sydney runs until July 30, 2022