Art Imitating Art?

This morning’s news was the defacing of a work by Rothko at the Tate Modern.

I have to admit that my first reaction was “How can you deface a Rothko?” I am not the greatest fan of Mark Rothko, or of his paintings of raspberry jam on burnt toast. However, other people say it is great art and who am I to argue?

My second reaction was “This rings a bell!” I then realised it was Clinock’s recent post on “Art Rat Cafe” about a collaboration between Canadian fine artist, Bruce Pashak, and Vancouver street artist, easer one.

OK, this is a voluntary collaboration between the two artists, unlike Rothko and Vladimir Umanets, but it made me think was this an example, perhaps, not of life imitating art but of art imitating art?

One interesting snippet I picked up while reading about the incident was on Jonathan Jones Blog: “In a perhaps unique incident where the artist expressed pleasure in an illicit response to his work, a woman kissed a Cy Twombly painting and left lipstick on it. For Twombly, that showed how much passion his art incites.


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7 Responses to Art Imitating Art?

  1. Carl says:

    It’s funny that some Russian boy with a spray paint can is able to improve a $50 million painting in a couple of minutes of quick work. OK, I’m kidding, kind of.

  2. clinock says:

    Ouch! I hope that there is no perceived connection here between my ‘Collaboration’ post and this act of vandalism. I think the chance of the vandal reading my post, or even of being aware of the exhibition referred to in my post is pretty slim – a million to one. Not Guilty!!!

  3. seascapesaus says:

    Why didn’t he paint his own version of a Rothko first, deface it and exhibit that? not in the same political spirit I suppose. Pretty sure you are off the hook clinock!

  4. mobius faith says:

    I’m actually rather intrigued by the defacing of art. I’m a fan of Rothkos work and I certainly am not offended by any damage done to Rothko’s work. In fact is it “damage”? Is damage a bad thing? Nothing is sacred. And the graffiti artist or defacement of museum art is proof. I see no difference. Why was it done? Isn’t it jus another sad case of someone seeking recognition and a quasi notorious celebrity? Isn’t it a symptom of our overall cultural worship of celebrity that has nothing to do with art itself? Just thinking.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Mobius has certainly posed some interesting questions. Nowadays many artists (Hirst, Emin) are more celebrities than artists. Would Grayson Perry, whose work I greatly admire, be as big if he didn’t dress as Claire in a pretty party frock?

    On Sunday I happen to be in the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. I was walking past some guards when I heard the description of a man coming over their radios. At the time I assumed it was a “suspicious character” seen in another gallery within the NG, but I now wonder if it was related to the Tate Modern incident.

    • Deanne says:

      Mobius raises an interesting point of view – “Is damage a bad thing? Nothing is sacred.”
      Of course, from a financial point of view, it’s a very pricey matter for the museum and not one I think they should endure. It also probably means we will see more and more ropes and other more sophisticated devices to keep the audience away from the artwork in general, in all museums. Overall, sad.

  6. barbaraelka says:

    I hope the museum has a good insurance…

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