Sotheby’s, The Scream, and Social Justice: An Occupy/Union Demonstration

Update: Want to hear “The Scream” of The 99%? Video from the Sotheby’s demonstration: here.

If you would enjoy wonderful, inspiring, Expressionist paintings, that are part of a community showing, and cost less than $120 million dollars, you could come see “New Works” by Huntington artist Gary Ivan in Greenlawn, Long Island, at ripe art gallery for May 2012. More info at our post: here.

About the auction of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch at Sotheby’s:

Because Diana Taylor of Brookfield Properties (the company which owns what they call “Zuccotti Park”) is on the board of Sotheby’s…

Because Sotheby’s acted unfairly in a labor dispute with its art handlers…

Because, Sotheby’s caters so exclusively to the mega-rich, The 1%…

A group of Occupy Wall Street folks and union activists demonstrated outside the Sotheby’s auction where “The Scream” was among the items. There were some actual screams of angst!

You can view comments at the FaceBook invite for the invent that took place on May 3rd.

Some snippets of media coverage below, and more background:

(excerpt from) The NY Times

It took 12 nail-biting minutes and five eager bidders for Edvard Munch’s famed 1895 pastel of “The Scream” to sell for $119.9 million, becoming the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at auction….

Outside of Sotheby’s, there was excitement of a different kind, as demonstrators protesting the company’s longtime lockout of art handlers waved placards with the image of “The Scream” along with the motto, “Sotheby’s: Bad for Art.” Many in the group — a mix of union members and Occupy Wall Street protesters — even screamed themselves when the Munch went on the block. (Munch’s work was an apt focus for the group, said one protester, Yates McKee: “It exemplifies the ways in which objects of artistic creativity become the exclusive province of the 1 percent.”)

(excerpt from) The Washington Post
‘The Scream’ sets $119.9 million record: Why we’re drawn to its tortured psychology

…And because of these trying economic times, the image seems to resonate more than ever — while the pastel was at auction, striking Sotheby’s art handlers and Occupy Wall Street protesters picketed outside with signs that pictured “The Scream.”…

Background information as posted at

…Catering exclusively to the mega-rich (by providing a service that makes them richer and more exclusive,) Sotheby’s is perhaps the most quintessentially 1% institution there is. Founded before the industrial era, it was the first company ever listed on the NY Stock Exchange, and today (despite the current “recession”) is more profitable than at any other time in its 260-year history. Meanwhile, the Sotheby’s workers who make those profits possible are given the shaft. Enough is enough. The 99% will not stand silent as union-busting companies like Sotheby’s wage class war against us.

If you don’t like Diana Taylor or Brookfield Properties (or if you liked Liberty Square), come Shut Down Sotheby’s. Diana Taylor is on the board at Sotheby’s and Brookfield, and told union members she would resign if the CEO gave the workers what they asked for…

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