The banana peel is perhaps one of the most recognizable symbols of humor. If I had a banana for every time someone slipped on a banana peel in a vaudeville show or movie, I’d have… well, a lot of bananas. Interpreting this symbol and incoporating it into his own form of comedic art is Japanese artist Koji Kasatani.
The 55-year old Kasatani uses ceramic to meticulously recreate the shape and color of banana peels, all the while being faithful to the discoloration of the peel that results from a process called enzymatic browning. Although the resulting ceramic is rendered in incredible realism, the artist takes his subject a step further, arranging one, two and sometimes numerous peels in surrealistic form. Some strike poses while others try to imitate the human experience.
And while the banana peel may symbolize laughter, it’s also garbage. And Kasatani is, essentially, interested in garbage. Things with a past that are no longer able to command our attention, spark joy for the artist. Kasatani is able to take discarded objects like banana peels, apply his craft, and then force us to look at it once again.
You can see more of his work and keep up with the artist on Instagram.