What a shocking and sad event today in London. What are people thinking? It’s the same as the defacing of the Pietà, or any other work of art. Was there something specific about Rothko’s work that makes it a target? I’m not sure, but it is difficult to see that this particular piece, one of the series that inspired so many (not the least of which was John Logan and RED) and was arguably the high point of this artist’s work, should be the target of senseless vandalism. Designed to elicit a contemplation of a deep inner tension, it provokes a senseless act of violence. The news report mentioned that the eye witness saw the vandal sit for some time contemplating the piece, awaiting a quiet moment to open his pen and scar the canvas. Was he thinking about the painting, the artist, or what it meant to him? Did it stir him, agitate him? Was it some perverted urge to place himself alongside the artist in some grasp for fame? Fifteen seconds of fame? Like the first question in John’s play, what did he see? Was it a protest against the high dollars the recent worked garnered at auction? In the end, I suppose asking why is a red-herring really. It doesn’t matter, nor will it change the fact that this remarkable work has been defaced. I hope he is brought to justice soon.
Here’s the link to the news story:
Seagram Mural Defaced
And the follow up: