Art vs. Advertising: The Banana Debate

Hi folks!

I hope you have all had a wonderful day! I have! I got my yard mowed and got an AWESOME pic of a praying mantis during the process! ☺

First and foremost, I would like to wish my Aunt Marta a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! She is at one of those “milestone” years, but I will not divulge which one! I wish her love and peace for this most special day! I also hope that her day turns out even better than expected!

Second, I would like to thank the scheduling gods for giving me a late shift tomorrow! I turned down overtime today because I would not get off until after 10 pm and that conflicts with my normal sleeping schedule. Guess what? My reward is an even LATER shift tomorrow that does not get off until midnight! It works out GREAT, because it is almost like having two days off during the week, but I hope that I can adjust my sleep schedule so that I don’t fall asleep at the wheel tomorrow night. (or extrapolated: Friday during the day.)

Anyway, after sleeping my normal schedule and hoping for an early overtime call (that didn’t happen) I ran around and did my errands and came home and decided to check Facebook. Unfortunately, I ran across a most disturbing post and pic of the banana sculpture being removed from a nearby campus property. WHY was it removed? I actually do not know. The artwork has been a subject of a heated debate between the City of West Lafayette and a property management company regarding logos/advertising and art. My guess is that the property management company was forced to remove their sculpture, but I do not know for sure. I checked the local news and didn’t see anything, so I am guessing.

What disturbs me is: Who decides what is art and what is advertising? And what is the essential difference? To me, I find beauty in CREATIVITY and ORIGINALITY. That is how I define “art”. For this reason, I see art as an expression of something that no one else has done, or had the gumption to attempt. The point of art is for people to EXPERIENCE it. This may be thru painting, music, writing, performance, and also business. Every “art” wants exposure (which could be called “advertising”).

Let’s revisit one of my favorite people Mister Rogers. He introduced us to a neighborhood of make believe. Let’s “pretend” that the banana sculpture came before the property management company and was erected at State Street and Andrew Place 10 years ago. How would the banana sculpture be viewed if the banana came before the logo? It would still be there. And probably be a fixture of originality with a TON of pics taken next to it.

Let’s also make believe that artists do not want advertising. I hope that it is NOT the case that artists do not want their works seen, that writers do not want their words read, that actors do not want their performances viewed, that musicians do not want their music heard. That would be a major disappointment to me and I would be completely stagnant without that external inspiration. That is why I love ART!

In my opinion, businesses work the same way. There is an idea and an inspiration and that is formed into something special. It is “art” in a different form and one we should embrace because it is ORIGINAL. The problem arises when one business is SO original that it trumps the others. What happens when a company far excels others? Mainly, the unoriginals complain to the City to get their competition quashed and the originals move on with their bad selves by offering free banana splits! It is a classic case of “Banana Envy”.


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