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Art Handlers Go For the Gold!

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Art Handling Olympics - photo by Matthew Monteith

For a few hours this past weekend, a group of people seldom celebrated in the art world got their moment in the sun. It was the Art Handling Olympics, one of the strangest competitive events you’re likely to see anywhere. These under appreciated, underpaid (and as the Times noted very often heavily tattooed and bearded) workers keep New York’s galleries and museums running.

Home base for the beer-soaked festivities was the subterranean Ramiken Crucible Gallery on Clinton Street. Contestants were required to cart each other around the neighborhood in cardboard boxes, as residents watched from their front stoops in horror/amusement. They were also made to hang art on the gallery’s walls, create their own sculptures and design an “art installation” of their own.

Above all, this was a day to heap loads of scorn on curators, gallery owners and artists (and the handlers themselves). In the end, one team, the “Kings of Cleats” came away with the gold. Here’s a look at the Art Handling Olympics, from the perspective of New York photographer Matthew Monteith:

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