Shameless rip-off of Mark Rothko

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I don’t mind artists who like to copy famous art works once in a while, it actually can be a learning experience to paint in the style of a famous artist, in the sense of trying and learning techniques that you may not utilize when making your own original art. But I have a bit of an issue with an artist making a career out of doing blatant rip-offs and then having the nerve to sign his or her own name on the front, as if it was their own creation …

This trio of “Mark Rothko” paintings was seen in the Macy’s Department Store at the Southdale Shopping Center in Minnesota over the holidays. The picture isn’t so great because the glass on the frame is so highly reflective, but I think you can get a good look at recognizing these as imitation Rothkos. Sure, they’re smaller than Rothko originals, and they’re on paper rather than on canvas, but the imagery is clearly meant to imitate Rothko. But if you scroll down and see the second picture (below left), you’ll see the artist had the nerve to sign these on the front, as if they are “originals.”

fake Mark Rothko paintings at Macy's at Southdale Mall

I was curious to see what I could find with a search for “in the style of Mark Rothko,” and I found this painting (below right), which is being offered online for $5,400 by an unnamed artist in Kilmarnock, VA. This one actually causes me to laugh a little bit, because it would seem that the artist hasn’t looked too closely at a Rothko lately despite listing this as “in the style of Mark Rothko.” Rothko’s signature pieces always included “floating” rectangles that rarely reached the edge of the canvas – this one is more like four large stripes. Better pull out those art history books before making the next “in the style of,” my friend!

Paintings in the style of Mark Rothko

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