The performance artist known for eating (not creating) that $120,000 banana duct-taped to an art-gallery wall is trying to shoehorn himself into a new arena: non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Food giant Dole is partnering with David Datuna on a five-part NFT series dubbed “Taking a Bite Out of Hunger” that will be marketed by the fintech company Zytara and go on sale May 6 via the NFT marketplace Rarible. Proceeds from the auction will go to charity.

It’s the latest episode in a craze that continues to veer into the bizarre.

Many will recall back in 2019 when a single banana taped to a wall was sold to a private collector for a staggering amount at Art Basel Miami Beach. The pricy banana was then devoured by Datuna, which has earned him the nickname the Hungry Artist.

NFTs are cryptographic assets that can have variable features. So far, they have been used to represent a wide range of unique tangible and intangible items, from art to collectible sports cards to virtual real estate and even digital sneakers.

Though NFTs have been around for a while, they have only recently “caught fire” and are here to stay “in a big way,” Datuna said in an email. 

“NFTs will find their place as they become a major part of all creative arts and open many additional ways to raise funds for meaningful causes. It really is only the very beginning of a brave new equalized crypto world for all,” said Datuna.

‘Taking a Bite Out of Hunger’

Dole chose to work with the Hungry Artist on the NFT series because his perspective on art as a platform for societal change resonated with the firm, said Rupen Desai, Dole’s global CMO.

“This NFT series allows us to bring awareness to the global issue of food insecurity and hunger in a new and visually compelling way, converging all three,” Desai said in an email.

The fifth NFT featured in the series is dubbed “Sunshine for All,” a pop-art-inspired montage of the first four pieces highlighting the importance of closing the gaps to good nutrition, said the firm. 

The NFTs might not be a-peeling to most, but the gimmick is for a worthy cause.

All proceeds will go toward funding nutrition and hunger-focused initiatives at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Dole’s Sunshine for All Cities program. 

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