One of the Rothko’s murals on display @Tate Modern defaced by a visitor

A Russian artists claiming to be a founder member of the creative movement “Yellowism”, on Sunday afternoon defaced one of the Rothko’s Four Season Hotel Murals on display at the Tate Modern : he challenged the security staff and the CCTV of the London Museum, wrote a few words on the bottom-right corner of the multi-millions pounds painting, then went off undisturbed. The writing on the piece appears to read: “Vladimir Umanets, A Potential Piece of Yellowism”.

Defaced Rothko at Tate Modern. Photograph posted on Twitter

Apparently the man took advantage of the sudden attack, as the gallery staff members didn’t realize what was happening in the Rothko room, while his behaviour was eyewitnessed by Tim Wright, one of the visitors at the gallery, who was on a weekend break to London from Bristol; he reported the incident to the bewildered members of staff and promptly posted a tweet on his own profile.

Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals at Tate Modern

It seems that the 20-something Russian artist meant to follow in Marcel Duchamp’s footstep and draw attention to what was happening in  the world of contemporary art; as reported by The Guardian, Vladimir Umanets – the anagram of “I’m True Vandalism” – explained his action by saying: “I believe that if someone restores the [Rothko] piece and removes my signature the value of the piece would be lower but after a few years the value will go higher because of what I did.”

The 1958 defaced painting, Black On Maroon, was one of a series known as the Seagram murals that were gifted to the Tate by the artist in 1969.