6 Reasons Rothko Is Not A Joke.

Rothko, Picasso, Pollock.

Those poor guys. So misunderstood by the masses. I, and I’m sure you, have heard over and over how bad these artists are and a kid could do it, etc. Maybe even said it yourself. I know I hated Picasso. His figures were grotesque.

I saw a meme an artist created about his work versus a Rothko. Obviously, he was saying his work was more skilled than a Rothko and therefore, underrated.  The artist in question is very talented. Yet, it blows my mind he would not only compare himself to a Rothko, but find Rothko lacking.

No one can argue Morgan is anything but exceptionally talented, as well as patient beyond measure. However, the argument that his drawing is greater than a Rothko is, I’m going to say it so hold on, absurd.

I know. That was rough, but we got through it.

Let me explain my position. Just set the pitchforks in the corner for a minute.

  1. No one was doing what Rothko did when he was doing it. His work changed the game. People were doing abstract work, they were even doing blocks of color in their abstract. Rothko took the next step. He built on what was before him and created something new. He created the next step. He changed the field of abstract art forever.  That takes genius..

    , you actually need another reason?
  2.  He used color and color alone to express emotions. He expressed them so well people have broken down in tears at the sight of his work. I don’t know about anyone else, but I dream of making people cry moving people to tears with my art. To touch someone so deeply by mere color placement, genius..

    Well, aren’t you a greedy little minx.
  3. Rothko, as the other two artists I mentioned, absolutely cannot be appreciated from a picture online or in a book. Rothko wanted people to view his massive paintings from 18 inches so the work enveloped them. If you don’t see at least one in person, you will not get it. You may not get it even then, but at least, give it a fair chance.
  4. To add to my first reason, technical skill is taught. If someone does perfectly realistic drawings, the skill is impressive, but where is the art? Where is the style? What takes it to the next step? What engages people? I am constantly impressed by the skill and patience it takes to do realistic art. But, and this is a big but, I cannot lie, if you don’t take it to the next level, you cannot compare yourself to someone who changed the game.
  5.  Rothko’s work was controversial and has proven the test of time. He was a risk taker, changing and developing his work until he found his voice.  He grew as an artist and went beyond what people thought art should be. Yeah, “anyone could do it” now. Before he did it? Nope. No one thought to, no one was brave enough. Do I need to say it? Genius.
  6. Rothko is dead. There are no more to be created. Supply, meet demand.

So, in conclusion: he’s a genius, his work touches people’s souls, he’s dead. I guess that’s technically only 3 reasons.

What do you think? Is this enough? Am I wrong?



About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.