Thursday, October 13, 2011

Awww. Sotheby's London auction overshadowed by protest

$5 million for a painting, $0 for social justice.
Such a shame. Poor widdle Sotheby's had its fancy art auction messed up by a bunch of union thugs. They had the nerve to stand in solidarity with Teamsters from Local 814 who don't want Sotheby's management to impoverish them.

Bloomberg has the story:
Lucian Freud and Alberto Burri paintings sold for $5 million each in London last night at a Sotheby’s auction overshadowed by concern about market weakness and a protest by U.S. art handlers over a labor dispute.
Bidders had to pass a group of 20 chanting and whistling demonstrators, including three who had flown from New York and promised more action. While the contemporary and 20th-century Italian sale set six artist records and raised 40 million pounds ($63 million), the top presale estimate at hammer prices was 48.3 million pounds. Some paintings went unsold, such as Peter Doig’s “Bellevarde,” valued at as much as 2 million pounds.
We wouldn't care so much that the paintings went unsold, except they're further evidence the Sotheby's Economy is wrecking the world.

You can see a photo gallery of the protests here. And here's the press release describing what happened:
More than 100 Teamster members and representatives from several global labor unions, including Unite the Union, the Trades Union Congress, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, the Public and Commercial Services Union and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, protested outside Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auctionthis evening.
The protestors stood in solidarity with 43 art handlers in New York City who were locked out of their jobs without paychecks three months ago. The art handlers are represented by Teamsters Local Union 814.
"Thugs," by the way, stands for "Those Helpful Union Guys."