Monday, October 8, 2012
How Vandalizing the Tate Rothko Is Desecrating a Grave
Upon hearing news of the vandalizing of Mark Rothko’s 1958 painting Black on Maroon (shown above), a part of me cried out in pain. Few artists cut to the core of what it is to be a human being as Rothko, as testified by the enduring appeal of his paintings, which remain as hypnotic and personal as they were when he took his life more than 40 years ago. A vandal calling himself Vladimir Umanets tells the BBC that he attacked the Tate’s prize painting not as a vandal but as an “artist” carrying on the mission of Duchamp under the theoretical banner of “Yellowism.” Vladimir Umanets, whose name (thanks to Holly Knowlman’s detective work on the Yellowism Facebook page) is an anagram for “I’m true vandalism,” demonstrates “Yellowism” only as a sign of cowardice—an individual or group masquerading as an art movement by damaging the works of the past. Tagging Black on Maroon with a graffiti pen, however, isn’t just art vandalism. In this case, it’s the desecration of a grave. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Vandalizing the Tate Rothko Is Desecrating a Grave."
[Image: Mark Rothko. Black on Maroon, 1958.]