Posted inArt

Red in Yellow: The Rothko Vandal Makes His Marx

On October 8th, a homeless Russian émigré named Vladimir Umanets defaced a Rothko painting hanging in the Tate Modern in London with his name, the year, and the following fragment: A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM. “Black and Maroon” (1958), originally sporting a signature Rothko black rectangle on a signature Rothko maroon field, is valued at around 50 million pounds. The values of Yellowism are a little harder to get a hold of, though there is a Manifesto online, which outlines the aims of the movement with statements that are either obscure or silly, such as: “Every piece of Yellowism is only about yellow and nothing more. … ” and “Interpreting Yellowism as art or being about something other than just yellow deprives Yellowism of its purpose.”

Posted inOpinion

Should We Ignore Art Vandals?

Many people have been raising questions about how the media should treat attention whores like the Yellowists, who are obviously committing crimes to fan the fires of fame. This is a question that confronts any journalist when covering something that is both criminal and possibly a ploy to attract attention for specific purposes, like art sales. It’s a difficult quagmire to navigate.

Posted inNews

Artist Is Charged in Picasso Vandalism Case

The first rule of social networking is that it’s very hard to make things private. It’s a decent bet that almost everything you post online is in some way accessible by people you don’t necessarily want to see it. This leads us the related first rule of art vandalism: if you did it, don’t claim it on YouTube or post about it on your Facebook page — unless you want to get charged.

Posted inOpinion

Basquiat Defaced in Paris, But Does it Matter?

An attacker “brandishing a felt-tipped pen” has vandalized a Basquiat painting on display at Paris’ Modern Art Museum, the Daily Mail reports. Yet the victim, a work called “Cadillac Moon 1981,” (seen at left) “is of such an abstract nature that it took at least a few days for experts to notice the graffiti.” Eventually, “The restorer of the exhibition noticed the work has been slightly marked with a pen,” said museum director Fabrice Hergott. So a minor mark was made on a painting whose creator was known for his own vandalism. Is this, or should this be, a big deal?