Cbot Arts Writing of the Week Award Goes to…

Some Twitter photo, via the Guardian

Okay, so there’s no Culturebot “Arts Writing of the Week” Award, unless you count us vaguely assuring you we’ll buy you a beer some time. But I would be remiss if I didn’t call out as fantastic an article as Marina Galperina’s interview with the other half of Yellowism’s brain-trust over at Animal New York. Yellowism, for those who don’t obsessively follow the arts world, is…something? a movement? the product of a hash-addled weekend in Cairo in 2010?…that apparently spawned the recent defacement of an $80 million (£50 million) Rothko in London. One of Yellowism’s founders, Wlodzimierz Umaniec, or, to get less Polish and more Russkiy about it, Vladimir Umanets, scrawled his name and the phrase “a potential piece of yellowism” on the work housed at the Tate Modern.

Anyway, Animal NY’s intrepid art critic Marina Galperina tracked down Umanets’ collaborator Marcin Lodyga in Berlin and it is…pure gold. The article (RTWT here) contains such gems as:

Let me summarize the next twenty minutes of our conversation for you: Yellowism is the pure expression of the color yellow. Turning anything into an object of Yellowism by putting it into “a nomadic Yellowist Chamber” — which is any damn actual room they choose to call “a Yellowist chamber” — makes the object Yellowist, yellow.


“We are not crazy. We just know what’s going on around.”

“What’s going on?”

“You know, there’s a sky. People have iPhones. The Internet is existing. People are screaming. We know. We see.”


“The human mind is not ready for it. This is anti-human perception. But we can see it. We are very serious about it… Anything can be Yellowism We defined it but one day we will die and Yellowism will still exist. Maybe after 100 years they will all need it. It’s too new. This is why people are angry with it.”

Galperina’s reporting is seriously top-notch. The entire art world is up in arms over the defacement but, to my knowledge, she’s the only one whose first reaction wasn’t high-minded dismissal but to actually report on a story. She has her qualms with the Yellowists, as her article makes clear, but, like her, I don’t react with knee-jerk outrage because some young artist dared violate a Rothko. Fuck whoever it was from Bloomberg that compared Marina to a “Nazi sympathizer and a murderer-lover.” I don’t know whether this Bloomberg stringer was on the arts beat or not, but if she was, this article is proof Marina should have her job.

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