Volume 22, Issue 2, 2021
COVID-19 Pandemic and Media
From Artwork to Advertisement
Reflections from Social Media Ads of Art Basel
From artists like Michelangelo to Andy Warhol, art has played an interesting role in conveying messages to society. Worldwide increase in media consumption and increasing time spent on the Internet make art previously concerning niche audiences more widespread. In December 2019, Art Basel, one of the most important art platforms in the world, came to such attention with artwork exhibited in one of its galleries. When Maurizio Cattelan's work titled “Comedian”, which consisted of a banana affixed to a wall with duct tape, was sold for $150,000, it came to the limelight through the media. It was then transformed into a simulation with the interest of marketers and communicators and took its place among real-time marketing examples. In this study, Cattelan's “Comedian” is analyzed in terms of similarly prepared and published Turkish social media advertisements inspired by the artwork. It was seen that simulations most associated with the artwork in terms of visual and meaning had most online interaction and even won awards. Jean Baudrillard’s perspective that a vast process of simulation is taking place over the span of daily life, similar in style to ‘simulation models’ through which operational and cybernetic sciences work, is discussed in this context. The evidence from this study suggests that ‘banana copycats’ are creating by combining features or elements of reality.