Ass Clown Defaces Rothko Mural, Says He Did the Work a Favor

You're a frustrated "conceptual artist." You have invented an "-ism" and named the movement after the color of pee: Yellowism. You even drafted a completely incoherent manifesto about your movement that sounds like @Horse_ebooks waxing philosophical about urinary tract infections:

All manifestations of yellowism are about yellow, are identical in content and differ only in terms of form. . . . Yellowism can be presented only in the special yellowistic chambers. Yellowistic chamber is a closed room with violet walls that is not an art gallery and because of its nature, cannot exist or be presented in an art gallery.

And so on.

Perplexingly, your genius hasn't quite caught on yet: your Facebook page only has 245 likes; your Tumblr posts of Taxi Driver gifs and boobs autographed by Terry Richardson don't get notes. So what do you do? Network? Hire a publicist? Hole up in a studio for six months creating excellent works?

Nah, instead, you show up to the Tate Modern with a marker, pick a very famous painting at random, scribble your name on it, and then tell people Duchamp would be very proud.

At least that's what some ass clown who goes by Vladimir Umanets did yesterday. According to one eyewitness, Umanets "calmly walked up" to Mark Rothko's "Black on Maroon," pulled out a marker, and then made a quick exit. The inscription he left behind: "Vladimir Umanets '12 / A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM."

Mr. Umanets, who hasn't yet been apprehended by police, has since been fielding phonecalls from the media. (Update: the BBC is reporting that a 26-year-old was taken into custody.) He admitted to ABC News there wasn't a whole lot of premeditation to his target:

[H]e chose the Rothko work after considering defacing others by Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Marcel Duchamp.

"I went into the Tate with a permanent black marker to inscribe a painting that I personally like the most. After looking at all of his painting, I realized I like 'Black on Maroon' the best," he said.

Mr. Umanets insists that his autograph will enhance the painting. "I really believe that eventually, this canvas, with my signature will have a higher value than Rothko's other paintings. Not immediately, but in several years."

Oh right, and defacing the work would've made Duchamp proud, he told Reuters.

I'm not saying I'm another Marcel Duchamp. I'm not a tag-maker ... I definitely believe that Marcel Duchamp would be really happy."

The problem is that sometimes people have a way of falling for this shit. (Hello Tony Shafrazi.) While it was one thing to to tinkle on Duchamp's urinal and still another to projectile vomit blue cake icing and blue Jell-O on a Piet Mondrian, this guy's close-up is to sign a Rothko like a high-school yearbook?

Please please please, distinguished curators, collectors, BRAVO producers: let us never speak of this hack again.

[The Guardian / photo by Twitter user @WrightTG]