‘An Icon of Our Time’: An Artist Is Selling a $2.9 Million Solid-Gold Avocado Toast at Berlin Art Week

If you thought $14 was an expensive price for avocado toast at your local cafe, how about $2.9 million (€2.5 million)?

That’s the cost of German artist Tim Bengel’s Who Wants to Live Forever?, a pure gold sculpture cast from an avocado on a bagel. 

The artwork, which scans as a mash-up of Maurizio Cattelan’s gold toilet (America [2016]) and duct-taped banana (Comedian [2019]), is up for sale now, via Galerie Rother. The piece will make its public debut tomorrow for Berlin Art Week, going on view at a local restaurant, the aptly-named Avocado Club.

The goal of Who Wants to Live Forever?, Bengel explained in a press release, was to “freeze the zeitgeist.” For him, avocados exist as a status symbol at the crossroads of several trends: millennial indulgence, the clean eating boom, and the global fruit industry’s impact on the environment.

Artist Tim Bengel with his sculpture. Courtesy of the artist.

He sees an analogy between his creation and the Greek myth of King Midas, who was granted his wish to turn anything into gold with a single touch, only to later die from starvation. “Something similar is happening today in turbo-capitalism,” Bengel’s press release reads, “which, in its greed for profit maximization, is destroying its own participants.”

To make the piece, the 29-year-old artist 3D-scanned 27 different pieces of his lunch: five avocado wedges, tomato slices, and onion rings; 10 arugula leaves; and two halves of pumpkin bagel. He then cast each piece in 18-carat gold and reassembled them as a sandwich. 

Altogether, the object weighs more than 26 pounds—which is roughly equivalent to an adult Corgi (albeit with a fraction of the charm). Galerie Rother even designed a specialized case to display the thing, which alone cost $47,000 (€40,000), according to German newspaper Stuttgart News.

In a statement, dealer Christian Rother said he believes the work could become “an icon of our time.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tim Bengel (@timbengel)

“[The sculpture] will hopefully make big waves like the shredded Banksy or the diamond-covered skull by Damien Hirst,” Bengel told the news outlet.

The young artist first rose to fame around 2017, when his meticulous paintings, made by gluing gold leaf and colored sand to canvases, went viral online. For Berlin Art Week in 2019, he built an ominous skull-shaped garden from heather shrubs and marble gravestones.

Bengel’s avocado sculpture will make its way stateside later this year, arriving for Miami Art Week in December.

The post ‘An Icon of Our Time’: An Artist Is Selling a $2.9 Million Solid-Gold Avocado Toast at Berlin Art Week appeared first on Artnet News.

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

Beeple and Peter Saul Explain the Merits of ‘Being the Bad Guy’ at Miami Talk

As art-world insiders flocked to the NADA Miami fair, Beeple and Peter Saul, two outsiders whose work has only recently been embraced by dealers and institutions, sat down for a conversation at the Bass museum. Saul and Beeple are separated by years, movement, character, and the medium in which they work. One produces Pop-inflected figurative

“Risk is Where Success Resides”: A Conversation with Claude Cormier

Claude Cormier doesn’t do private gardens. The famed Canadian landscape architect, principal of Claude Cormier et Associés, works exclusively in the public realm — designing spaces that will foster community and a sense of place. A true non-conformist, he has been called “brazen” and “thoroughly unapologetic,” his projects often defying convention in their use of

Scroll to Top


Yes! Sign me up for AFYC's weekly newsletter featuring valuable info for artists, nonprofits, upcoming contests, and our new product offerings.

Count Me In!