last night sotheby's held its contemporary art auction in london. bidding was moderate, the art was wonderful, people were well dressed, everything was pretty typical - that is except for the protest. U.S. art handlers were banded together outside of sotheby's london location, expressing their frustration over a labor dispute. Bidders had to pass a group of 20 chanting demonstrators, including three who had flown from New York. more action was promised.
the protesters handed us a flyer with an image of edvard munch's "the scream". the following message was on the paper:
"last quarter Sotheby's had the most profitable period in its 267-year history. the company rewarded its top management royally. in fact, sotheby's president and ceo bill ruprecht's salary just about doubled in 2010, to almost $6 million per year.
despite record profits and growth, sotheby's management locked out all of their art handlers in the midst of contact negotiations without explanation. sotheby's art handlers protect priceless works of art and are responsible for intake and preparation, packing and shipping, and exhibition installation and dismantling. replacing experienced art handlers with outsourced workers is a bad way to handle new york's fine art.
it's enough to make you scream.
what's gone wrong at sotheby's?"
for more info about the protest please visit http://www.sothebysbadforart.com