Organizer of Renoir Protest Is a Pro-Palestinian Activist and Professional Protester

His other Instagram handle is MaximumWage.

Max Geller.Photo via Instagram.
Max Geller.
Photo via Instagram.

So, you’ve read all about the protests outside the Boston Museum of Fine Arts organized by some people who hate Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir because, in their view, he “sucks at painting.”

And, sure, you’ve read about cheeky counter-actions by Genevieve Renoir, the great-great-granddaughter of the artist, who says that “the free market has spoken” and that the Impressionist’s auction prices demonstrate that he was a good painter.

Though the story has been covered from Boston to London, what no one seems to be talking about is the other activities of organizer Max Geller, a political organizer who opposes the Israeli occupation and advocates for a maximum wage. It appears that the acumen for organizing that’s behind his ironic protest against Renoir’s “feathery bullshit” (his words) was honed on some considerably more serious activities.

An Instagram post by Geller.

An Instagram post by Geller.

Geller was a member of the Northeastern University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian activist group that has advocated for the boycott of companies that deal with Israel. The student group was suspended this past year by the school shortly after distributing fake eviction notices resembling ones used by Israel to alert Palestinians in the occupied territories when their homes are to be seized or demolished. Geller appeared on Democracy Now after the incident.

“We distributed a bunch of fliers,” Geller told Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, “and the Hillel organization on my campus lost their temper and pressured the university into calling the police on us.” Geller said it was part of a pattern of repression of the group’s activities.

Geller spoke at the 2014 conference of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, in a workshop on what the organizers called “the nationally coordinated and well-resourced attempt by pro-Israel supporters and the State of Israel to censor and manage dissent against Israel.”

Geller also has another Instagram, besides the Renoir Sucks at Painting account, under the handle MaximumWage.


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