TAGGER OF MARK ROTHKO PIECE AT TATE MODERN SPEAKS OUT
The supposed vandal of a recent “crime” involving the defacing of a famed Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern work came forward to Reuters recently after answering a phone call after providing his phone number on a website whose title refers to the tag on the painting.
Although the ink had run down the canvas, a photograph posted by a witness on the Twitter website showed the words: “VLADIMIR UMANETS ‘12, A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM.”
Umanets, who answered the call, claims that his Yellowist statement was one that sought to change the interaction of spectator with art, and art with gallery. He claims that artists like Marcel Duchamp would be “happy” at the decision he made, and references the artist’s urinal, which was the subject of a rogue performance piece a short time ago when two Chinese performers tried to use it for its more functional cause.
Interestingly, the piece Umanets chose to deface was one of Rothko’s Seagram Murals, which arrived at the Tate the day Rothko was famously found overdosed on anti-depressants in a pool of his own blood on his kitchen floor. The artist had begun painting in dark tones and away from his original brightly-colored works as he had sunk into depression near the end of his career.
One theory as to why these particular paintings (for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York) were so ominous was that Rothko said he wanted to “ruin the appetite of every son of a bitch who ever eats in that room.” It remains a mystery as to why Umanets chose this unique piece for his addition.