Rothko Defacer Thinks He Did the Tate a Favor

Via Tim Wright / @WrightTG.

The most outrageous thing about the guy who vandalized a 1958 work by Mark Rothko at London’s Tate Modern gallery on Sunday is that he’s pretty sure his signature will improve the painting’s worth, thereby adding to the value of the Tate’s collection. That’s what the Russian artist going by Vladimir Umanets told The Guardian, after acknowledging to the paper that he was the one who scrawled, “Vladimir Umanets, a potential piece of yellowism” in the corner of Rothko’s Black on Maroon. He was doing art, you see, and when you add that to other art, it makes even more valuable art. Or something like that. He told The Guardian’s Ben Quinn: “I believe that if someone restores the [Rothko] piece and removes my signature the value of the piece would be lower but after a few years the value will go higher because of what I did.” His idea is not without precedent. Remember that old lady who wanted a cut of the tourism dollars from the Jesus fresco she attempted to restore? Perhaps they should collaborate on a project.