Now that some time has passed since conceptual prankster Vladimir Umanets wrote on a Rothko at Tate London, thusly attempting to convince the world that he turned it into a piece of Yellowism and transported it into a new, objective dimension… looks like the painting is mighty fucked.
It’s going to take up to 18 months to repair Black on Marooon.
It didn’t wipe away like originally hoped by the museum’s conservationist specialists — it was, after all, written with a graffiti pen meant to weather extreme weather for years and years, and it went right through the canvas. Not only do the many Rothko layers penetrated by the ink have to be removed, the process of rebuilding them with Rothoko’s materials — glue, synthetic resin, egg and paint that should somehow appear to have aged 50 years — is going to be challenging, expensive and long.
Vladimir Umanets has been released on bail and has not been sentenced yet.
Tick tock. Meanwhile, read our interview with one of the Yellowists here.