Reactor

People Who Aren’t Upset That a Rothko Was Defaced Today

by Hrag Vartanian on October 7, 2012

The reaction in 140 characters or less after today’s Rothko incident at the Tate Modern has been overwhelming. At one point Rothko was a trending topic on the social media service, according to one user, but more than that these news events inevitably bring out the best and worst in people.

While the majority of people have understandably been horrified at the fact that someone would deface a renowned painting for no reason other than what appears to be self-promotion, not everyone felt that way.

This post is about the other tweets, meaning the ones that expressed some type of enjoyment at the news, or maybe they just poked fun at the whole thing. Reading them is akin to being rubbernecking on the information highway. You don’t know why you have to look but you just do. We’ve saved you the time and compiled some of the most interesting from the first six hours after the incident below. Enjoy … or, er, whatever you’re supposed to do with them.

And this is a late entry:

Beyond the fact that some people relished the art crime at the Tate today, there was a whole other range of emotions and takes too, and here is a taste.

Some people expressed relief or something …

Some jokes:

A timely restoration joke:

Is this the beginning of a conspiracy theory?

You call that vandalism?!

An interesting observation:

This is just strange, so “no comment”:

And some people think the reaction was just too much:

 

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  • http://twitter.com/edmondcaldwell Edmond Caldwell

    Thank you, hyper-a, for aggregating these like-minded tweeters for me — I’m now following them all!

  • karolina

    oooh can you guys please post images (these all come up as links)

    thanks for all the updates and aggregation of feedback! so great!!!

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      Just did. Not sure why the tweets weren’t appearing. They did for a while then stopped. Damn internetz!

  • Den Hickey

    Wow.. how open minded.. I don’t like his work, so its fine to vandalize it? Fuck these people! Think for a few seconds about that. What would the 80s and 90s have been like if it were totally okay to deface or destroy artwork people didn’t like? Mapplethorpe, Witkin, Hirst, Serrano, etc.. etc.. etc… It would be rare for one to be an artist or involved in the art world and NOT like at least one artist whose work was highly disliked by a good portion of people for one reason or another. Or think about your own work… would you want someone tagging your work to promote their own career?

  • mariuswatz

    Schadenfreude is humanity at its best. The reactions were fairly similar when that art warehouse burned down in London, taking with it a slew of YBA works. I don’t care much either way about Rothko or dot paintings, but to snicker at their destruction seems like something Mitt Romney would do.

  • Guest

    This was for my friend who lives in Houston and has adorable kittens living in her garage

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Owen-Kaelin/100001938632058 Owen Kaelin

    The enemies of art and anthropology can always be sized by the hunger of their egos.

  • Guest

    Okay, so… turns out the guy’s in pretty bad straits, homeless etc., so maybe this was an act of desperation. I suppose, in that regard the crime makes sense, even though destroying somebody else’s artwork is sort of one of those things you simple Do Not Do. EVER. I say this as a former painter. I know the value of art, and this value is not described in monetary terms. It’s described in human terms. This was NOT vandalism. Vandalism applies to things measured in monetary terms. Art is measured in human terms, which makes this an act of violence.

    Still… I hope the best for him, and maybe his internet fans can turn their enthusiasm into an actual helping hand and raise some money to cover the Tate’s expenses now that the museum has to re-allocate its money to this painting’s restoration. Maybe the guy’s internet fans can also raise some money to get him some financial help so he can pull his life together. Yes, he did a horrible thing, but he’s also human.

  • http://owenkaelin.blogspot.com/ Owen Kaelin

    Okay, so… turns out the guy’s in pretty bad straits, homeless etc., so maybe this was an act of desperation. I suppose, in that regard the crime makes sense, even though destroying somebody else’s artwork is sort of one of those things you simple Do Not Do. EVER. I say this as a former painter. I know the value of art, and this value is not described in monetary terms. It’s described in human terms. This was NOT vandalism. Vandalism applies to things measured in monetary terms. Art is measured in human terms, which makes this an act of violence.

    Still… I hope the best for him, and maybe his internet fans can turn their enthusiasm into an actual helping hand and raise some money to cover the Tate’s expenses now that the museum has to re-allocate its money to this painting’s restoration. Maybe the guy’s internet fans can also raise some money to get him some financial help so he can pull his life together. Yes, he did a horrible thing, but he’s also human.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      I don’t think it’s obvious what the position of the vandal actually is. No one has been able to explain what homeless in this case means. Was he couch surfing? Is it a ploy to generate sympathy for the culprit? I think we’re still waiting for more information. Also, vandalism has nothing to do with money. When the Taliban destroyed a giant ancient Buddha statue it was an act of vandalism and destruction and not monetary.

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