Manifesto: Yellowism

“I would like to show such a wonderful piece in the context of Yellowism,” Vladimir Umanets, the delusional Tate Rothko tagger, a vandal who sincerely thinks he has increased the value of the Rothko painting, told a reporter from the BBC yesterday. For all the manifesto writers out there (UConn second-year MFA students, I’m talking to you) here’s the Yellowism manifesto that Umanets posted on his  blog.

Tim Wright tweeted this photo moments after the incident. (via @WrightTG). Color corrected by Hyperallergic.


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  1. WTF? is the only possible response….

  2. In interesting rabbit hole down which to slide. If this act now creates a new work of art, should he turn around and tag his tag to fulfill the Yellowism objectives? And if yes, might he simply stand there forever tagging his tags of his tags of his tags? Ad nauseum perpetua.

  3. What a turd. Duchamp didn't pencil the actual mona lisa. Another misguided artist. Everyone that's been to a museum has had the thought wow I could touch this painting right now if I wanted to… wait. I'm just getting something through the wire… this is just in… The vandal was Chris Martin of Coldplay.

  4. This "artist" is not misguided, he knows exactly what he's doing and that is bringing attention to yellowism.

    The objective of Umanets signing a Rothko is not to create a new work of art. Furthermore, the objective of yellowism is not even to create art. Umanets only points out that a Rothko is a "potential piece of yellowism", but yellowism only exists within an yellowistic chamber which is the parodical equivalent of the gallery (What Robert Smithson calls the metaphysical junkyard).

    Which is more nonsensical, the context of a gallery which drenches a urinal with meaning instead of urine or an yellowistic chamber which reduces everything to yellow?

  5. So because the art world is nonsensical it gives this "non-artiste" the right to deface a Rothko? I personally don't care to follow someone's conceptual ramblings who happens to think it's ok to vandalize an object in a museum. I'm grateful for the trust museums have. As a painter I want to experience paintings up close. Rothko wanted people to stand 18 inches from his paintings. How long will museums put up with idiots like this before they start putting everything behind glass? Just because this moron eats yellow cadmium doesn't make him a genius.

  6. Value is not universal. For me the tagging increased the value of that particular Rothko, and of Rothko's work in general, as a relational object, a point of departure for considering all kinds of things.

    The art of defacing over-priced works of art-capitalism delights me. I like the guy who puked in primary colors. I like the tagging on a Rothko. There are tons of Rothkos out there to enjoy uncontaminated by defacement or provocation to consider how the painting has become an investment object.

    Watch Cosmopolis for a lovely & complicated engagement with Rothko and his paintings' value and the delusional super rich who get to own them.

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