Berkeley artist captures mood of Wall Street protestors

Berkeley artist Eric Drooker drew this New Yorker cover

The artist Eric Drooker, a New York native and Berkeley resident, has been following the Occupy Wall Street protests closely, posting numerous updates on his Facebook page and even designing posters that can be used by participants. This week The New Yorker is featuring one of Drooker’s drawings, a gloomy, moody picture of an urban skyline dominated by smokestacks and a strange sphinx-like bull at the top.

“Manhattan Island has become more and more an exclusive place for the super wealthy, or the super corporations—and a hostile place for people to live, not just for the working class, but even for the middle class,” Drooker said on The New Yorker web site. “The city has become this monolithic cathedral to money.”

Drooker, who has drawn regularly for the The New Yorker since 1994, sent in the picture a year ago, according to Berkeleyan Paul Rauber, who spoke with Drucker’s wife.

“Spoke to his wife this morning; she said he’d sent this in almost a year ago, but it was ruled ‘too dark’,” Rauber wrote on his Facebook page. “Sometimes, I guess, you just have to wait for the zeitgeist to catch up with you.”

Drooker, a painter and graphic novelist, who also designed the animation for the recent film, Howl, based on Allen Ginsburg’s poem, is currently in Mexico.

The New Yorker cover isold fashioned pen and ink,” Drooker said on his Facebook page. “Color (and smoke) were added digitally.”

One of the posters Erick Drooker has designed for Occupy Wall Street movement

Another "Occupy" poster by Berkeleyan Erick Drooker

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  • Charles_Siegel

    “a strange sphinx-like bull at the top.”

    I suspect that figure is the golden calf that everyone in the city worships.


  • laura


  • Anonymous

    You are probably right, Charles. I couldn’t tell what it was, but a golden fatted calf fits in with the motif.

  • I’m going to betray my non-agricultural roots, but would calves have such prominent horns? It looks very much like a more austere rendering of the Wall Street bull sculpture to me.

    Your reading, however, seems more on target.

  • Anonymous

    Makes me think of “Metropolis” with the Washington Monument and cannon-like image put in for context.

    Was looking for an image of the machine which became Moloch in the movie. With that, perhaps the creature atop the building is actually Moloch.


  • Bruce Love

    See the animation in the second video on that page.

    II (from “Howl”)

    What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

    Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars!
    Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
    weeping in the parks!

    Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

    Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless
    jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are
    judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

    Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running
    money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a
    cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

    Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose
    skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch
    whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks
    and antennae crown the cities!

    Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is
    electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius!
    Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is
    the Mind!

    Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in
    Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

    Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness
    without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
    Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the

    Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisable suburbs! skeleton
    treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations!
    invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

    They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees,
    radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere
    about us!

    Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstacies! gone down the American river!

    Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

    Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the
    flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and
    suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!

    Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the
    holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude!
    waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous
  • Bruce Love

    It’s neat the way we traced out the chain of references there.

    If you have not already seen it, and you think you like Metropolis, I can not highly enough recommend the 2010 restoration (“The Complete Metropolis”), available on DVD from the Berkeley Public Library.    I’d seen earlier restorations several times starting when I was a teen.  I thought I knew this movie.    To me, this new and miraculous recovery of a lot of lost scenes (hence, a bunch of critical plot and character development) makes it a whole new movie — much better than the one I remember.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you – I will definitely check it ou.

    Metropolis is one of the most visually stunning movies I’ve ever seen.

    I was in Chicago in April … This photo I took reminded me of the Tower Of Babel in “Metropolis” 

    I know Club Foot Orchestra scored “Nosferatu” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (went to the performances at the UC Theater.  Do you know if they did a German Expressionism hat trick?

  • Bruce Love

    I thought I recalled that they did and … quick search… yup.

    (The score you hear on “the complete” and in most restorations does go back to the original, though….)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you!  Due back tomorrow … and reserved.

  • Zelda Bronstein

    “Howl” in Berkeleyside:  boggles the mind.  But Bruce has inspired me to post another poem, “An Alexandrine Magazine,” by Howard Nemerov:

    Ah, Classy, Glossy, slick of paper as of prose,
    Where taste is pulled on us like rank by those, God
    That know, where liberal views are held up either side
    By ads for youth and beauty, fashion, wealth, and pride:
    An avenue of demonstrators and police
    Contained between tall buildings where the money is.

  • Fred


  • Paul Schwartz

    Another bay area artist who does covers for the New Yorker is Mark Ulricksen.  Check out his website.  Mark is an incredibly talented artist.  Humorous, satirical, and timely. 

  • Anonymous

    Channel 5 just had Eric Drooker and his cover on TV.  I’ve a feeling someone there reads Berkeleyside.

  • Bruce Love

    Drooker’s son has been hanging out with some friends down at Liberty Square in NYC: