This Rothko attacker is a pathetic wimp. They should film him being given a good thrashing outside Tate Modern, call it a ‘conceptual video’ and enter it for the Turner Prize.

So says David Lee, editor of arts magazine The Jackdaw, of the “barely sane ‘artist’ of no discernible ability” who scrawled graffiti on Mark Rothko’s painting at the Tate Modern. In May, a Rothko sold for $90 million (£53 million) in New York

Whatever else Shakespeare’s dramas had to do, they had to attract a late Elizabethan/early Stuart audience of ordinary people to pay money to go to the playhouse. Shakespeare was a ratings chaser. If punters thought his play too slow, too obscure, too difficult, then he would have failed. So his art was not part of a refined world, but a product of popular culture. I think what I’m suggesting here is that the mass of people — whose wishes are often to be understood in what they choose to spend their money on — actually help to provoke the most dynamic and successful art.

Do you agree with David Aaronovitch? Let us know what you think. David was writing after Peter Bazalgette, the TV producer who brought Big Brother to Britain, was appointed as chairman of the rather more refined Arts Council England (read more)

Enjoyed our Olympics front covers? Want to know more about how they came into being? Then hit ‘play’ for a look behind the scenes at The Times.

You can also check out the covers photosets here and here.

There is more to life than the miserable business of trying to be happy. Some of the best that has been said and done has been incubated by misery. Soon after he painted Starry Night, Van Gogh walked out into a field and fired a revolver at his own chest. Milton wrote Paradise Lost after losing his wife, his daughter and his eyesight. Proust barely ever got out of bed. Toulouse-Lautrec was as depressed as only an inbred syphilitic alcoholic with an absinthe addiction, the torso of a man and the stunted legs of a child could be.

Olympians, artists and writers go through hell in pursuit of perfection. We’re the beneficiaries of their suffering, says Philip Collins. Read more

Magazine Rack | Anonymous, Edvard Munch, Guadalajara & the Saudis

Steve Fishman profiles one of the leading figures behind Anonymous in New York Magazine

AS Byatt on the upcoming Edvard Munch exhibition at Tate Modern in The Guardian

In The New Yorker, William Finnegan on the cosy relationship between organized crime and State in Guadalajara

The Economist on the challenges faced by the Saudi regime

Compiled by @TomasRuta

Leaders and Thunderer | The Times, Monday June 18, 2012

Loading posts...