“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,” he said, comparing himself to Marcel Duchamp, the French artist who shocked the art establishment when he signed a urinal and put it on display in 1917.
“I was expecting that the security at Tate Modern would take me straight away, because I was there and I signed the picture in front of a lot of people. There is video and cameras and everything, so I was shocked.”
“I didn’t destroy the picture. I did not steal anything. There was a lot of stuff like this before. Marcel Duchamp signed things that were not made by him, or even Damien Hirst.”
He said that he admired Rothko, describing him as one of the great figures in art of the last century, but added: “I don’t believe that what I have done is criminal. If the police are going to arrest me, then they are going to arrest me. I am OK with that.”
From here, and apparently a quote from the man who signed a Mark Rothko paining in the middle of the Tate Modern. As much as I love Rothko – and I genuinely love Rothko – I have to admit, I kind of love this.
Related: This Is Yellowism.