Man arrested after allegedly vandalizing Art Basel gallery wall

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The banana business at Art Basel Miami Beach isn’t over yet.

According to Miami Beach Police, a man was arrested after vandalizing a wall at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sunday.

The message was written on the same wall that had garnered widespread media coverage due to “Comedian,” a piece of edible art consisting of a banana duct-taped to a wall.

Investigators said 46-year-old Roderick Webber used lipstick to write “Epstein didn’t kill himself,” referencing late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, while being recorded.

“My name is Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself Webber,” he said as he waved to the cameras pointed at him.

Webber is an artist himself and said he set out to contribute.

“It seemed so [bleep] stupid, like it was birthed out of memeography,” he said about “Comedian.”

At the banana booth, he carried out what he described as memes colliding and titled it “Reduced to Memes.”

“It wasn’t vandalism; it’s art,” said Webber when police approached him.

Police didn’t see it that way and called it criminal mischief. They escorted Webber out of the Convention Center.

“Hey, if they truly believe that it’s OK for David Datuna to eat this thing and not gonna press charges on him, they’ve got to treat me the same way,” said Webber. “Otherwise, they will be revealed for the hypocrites they are, and of course as we know, they arrested me.”

Webber said he knew what the outcome would be, so he went to the event with his bail money in his pocket.

The arrest comes only a day after New York-based performance artist Datuna went viral online for taking down and eating the banana. Datuna was not charged.

Following the attention he received, Datuna held a news conference in New York, Monday.

“I think this is cool. This is fun,” he said. “This is what art is all about. It’s about fun.”

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