This Burger Pickle Stuck to a Ceiling Is an Artwork Worth $6,200

A New Zealand art gallery recently sparked controversy for displaying a controversial artwork consisting of a pickled cucumber slice stuck to the ceiling.

Titled ‘Pickle’, the thought-provoking artwork belongs to Australian artist Matthew Griffin and is currently on display at the Michael Lett Gallery in Auckland. It consists of a ketchup-smeared pickled cucumber slice out of a McDonald’s cheeseburger stuck to the ceiling of the art gallery it is exhibited in. The bizarre artwork is being described by the gallery as a deliberately “provocative gesture” designed to question what has value. Moore himself appears to think his creation has decent value, as it comes with a price tag of 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,200).

Photo: Fine Arts Sydney

“Generally speaking, artists aren’t the ones deciding whether something is art is not – they are the ones who make and do things,” said Ryan Moore,  director of Fine Arts Sydney, the gallery that represents Griffin. Whether something is valuable and meaningful as artwork is the way that we collectively, as a society choose to use it or talk about it.”

“As much as this looks like a pickle attached to the ceiling – and there is no artifice there, that is exactly what it is – there is something in the encounter with that as a sculpture or a sculptural gesture,” Moore added.

Photo: Fine Arts Sydney

And yes, in case you’re wondering, this is an actual pickle slice from a cheeseburger, complete with a sauce that helps it remain glued to the ceiling. It hasn’t decayed at all, so far, although that isn’t too surprising, considering that there are decades-old McDonald’s burgers out there in amazingly good condition.

In case this sort of art sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it is very similar to another controversial artwork that made news headlines a few years back – a banana stuck to a wall. That one actually sold for a whopping $120,000, which makes the $6,200 price tag of Pickle seem like chump change.

Photo: Josh Duke/Unsplash

Interestingly, if someone decided to pay 10,000 New Zealand dollars for Pickle, they’ll also have to pay an extra NZD$4.44 for a cheeseburger. In exchange, they will receive the expensive pickle slice and instructions to exhibit it in their own home or gallery.

Pickle has gotten a mixed response online, with some people calling it “brilliant” and “genius”, and others describing it as “moronic”.