Anyone who has seen film footage of Robert Scull and Robert Rauschenberg at the Sotheby Parke Barnet auction, New York 1973, will remember the part with the scuffle. Taxi tycoon Scull and his wife Ethel made over $2.2 million that day, selling off 50 works from their art collection, which included pieces by Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Willem de Kooning and Jasper Johns. Rasuchenberg’s Thaw (1958), bought directly from the artist by Scull for $900, sold for $85,000. The scuffle part happens when Rauschenberg realizes this, and knows that he will see none of the profit. In front of the camera, the artist angrily shoves the collector, saying, “I’ve been working my ass off for you to make that profit.”
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