I’m sure by now you have all seen the stupid ‘value enhancing’ graffiti by Wlodzimierz Umaniec on the 1958 Seagram mural by Rothko.
He walked into the Tate Modern at three in the afternoon and decided to write on a painting. According to Unaniec, what he did was an act of art in itself, and one that would increase the price of the Rothko (the Tate is estimating damages at £5,000).
I am not a fan of Rothko, or of ‘colour on a canvas’ type of art in general. But writing on a painting like this is a completely lame, bonkers, and boring expression. The only way this act would be justifiable are:
1. He was protesting a vicious dictator by defacing party sponsored art
2. He is actually Rothko (now 109 years old) and had just forgotten to sign it
4. The Tate had asked him to do so as a piece of performance art
5. And the classic – he slipped and it his name just happened to fall on the painting