A Russian man who was responsible for defacing one of the paintings in Mark Rothko’s Seagram murals at the Tate Modern apparently does not consider his act to be vandalism.
The defaced painting is called ‘Black on Maroon’. Ironically the man involved, Vladimir Umanet, wrote on it using black paint last Sunday.
Despite this Umanet tells the BBC in an interview: “I’m not a vandal.” He claims responsibility for the incident but has denied criminal charges.
The police have not made any arrest in relation to the incident at the gallery in central London.
Umanet is the founder of a movement he has labeled as ‘Yellowism’. In the same BBC interview, he revealed that he is not unlike surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp.
His opinion is that “art allows us to take what someone’s done and put a new message on it”. He believes that in today’s contemporary world, one must “abandon and live art”. He also hopes that he would still be “considered as someone who really creates”.
On why he defaced Rothko’s painting, Umanet said he wanted to “show such a wonderful piece in the context of Yellowism”. Sure enough, the writing on the Rothko painting appears to read: “Vladimir Umanets, A Potential Piece of Yellowism.”
He also revealed that he was a big fan of the painter, who he described as “a powerful artist”.
In the BBC report he said: “There will never be another Rothko in the world ever.”
Umanet, however, is also aware that could soon be arrested.
Following the incident, Tate Modern closed for a short period of time. However, according to reports the gallery supposedly has no plans to change its policy of allowing people to get close to art work.
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