Rothko Painting Defaced: Of Course It Was The Society October 27, 2012 From the Society, News of Note NEW YORK—Earlier this month, a man walked into the Tate Modern, in London. He walked up to a painting by modern artist Mark Rothko. The painting “Black on Maroon” consists, more or less, of two lines and is valued at about $80 million. Next, the man wrote his name on the painting in black paint and wrote “a potential piece of Yellowism.” The man, Vladimir Umanets, had dreamed up Yellowism as the latest movement in aesthetics and suggested that his scribble would in fact increase the value of the work, according to the U.K.’s Mail Online. He was later arrested. Could anyone guess Umanets would deface the Rothko? Of course we could. Umanets took Rothko’s painting, which itself is nothing more than a scribble, and scribbled on it. He took Rothko’s own specious movement, abstract expressionism, to its logical end. An organic reading of history will tell us that a civilization, a people and its culture, is an organism. It will have its golden age and then will decline and be replaced by another, just as people grow old and die. Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations left us artworks of perfection before their civilizations ultimately declined, like any organism. Our modern civilization reached its cultural prime and is now heading toward death. The emergence of modern art in the last century or so is like a cancerous tumor with the cancerous cells spreading at an accelerating pace toward the end. Sounds terrible, right? But, there’s hope. For example, one of the most acclaimed French masters of the 19th century, William Bouguereau, will have one of his works “La Branche de Cerisier” (“The Cherry Branch”) on auction at Sotheby’s next month. While this is not one of Bouguereau’s best works it displays a high level of skill and rich subject matter far beyond Rothko’s “Black on Maroon.” Yet, the Bouguereau’s “La Branche de Cerisier” is estimated to go for only $1.5-$2 million in the auction—a far cry from the $80 million at which Rothko’s work is valued. To those who still believe in greatness and humanity, I implore you, bid up Bouguereau’s vastly undervalued “La Branche de Cerisier”! And do it soon, before more than just a Rothko painting gets destroyed by the unforgiving hand turning history’s page. Originally published on The Epoch Times. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.