No. 36

7:00 AM

Mark Rothko, No. 36, 1957
By THOMAS MCCONAHAY

No. 36 (Black Stripe) by Mark Rothko, a portal of indulging reddish oranges overlain by midnight blue, epitomizes the beautiful abstraction of this twentieth century master's work. Rothko's legacy lies within his inner conflict and his relentless perfectionism. Though his craft changed the course of modern artistic expression, his discontent with himself and the world around him lead him to his eventual suicide. In his life, he served as a leader in the war against the human race's impulsive satisfaction with mediocrity. Along with the aforementioned war, Rothko was struggling with the impending commodity-centric nature of the future of modern art. In his career, he found himself stuck in the middle of this; as he strived to refine his craft (and furthermore his influence), it became necessary for him to make compromises in order to be able to have the platforms and resources be desired.

Though this opinion is likely to be heavily opposed, I see strong parallels between the creative mindset of Rothko with twenty-first century musician and designer, Kanye West. They both share unhindered ambition to change the course of innovation in their respective cultures. Like Rothko, West frequently expresses his frustration with the fleeting hunger for brilliance of society. Of all the similarities between these creative geniuses, I am most intrigued by their self-consuming craving for the fulfillment of their artistic vision.

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