ROHTKO | Lukasz Twarkowski

A monumental spectacle of an experience on the border between theater, film, and video art by Poland’s leading contemporary director Łukasz Twarkowski, making his Greek debut with an iconoclastic performance that dives deep into the abyss that is contemporary art and centers on the strange individual that was the expressionist artist Mark Rothko.


A Chinese restaurant, with hanging lanterns and cooks standing over pans of noodles, an all-white New York gallery with neon signs, the messily unmade double bed of an artist from Latvia who would go on to change the course of contemporary art history, and three giant screens on the Onassis Stegi Main Stage. This setting – a cross between a film set and a video art project flooded with loud, atmospheric beats – is to be inhabited by famous painters and Chinese cooks, gallerists, art dealers and forgers, patrons of the art world and food delivery drivers.

At the heart of it all is the true story of an art forgery: a painting by the pioneering abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko, which sold for the astronomical sum of 8.5 million dollars. As it turns out, the painting was a forgery, making the affair one of the most scandalous instances of fraud in contemporary art history.

Can a forged painting still move you?

What do originals matter in a time of NFTs and blockchains?

Who decides the value of a work of art?

How free is an artist?

What is art, at the end of the day?

What does art matter – what does life itself matter – now that virtual realities exist?

A series of such questions are threaded through this four-hour performance by the up-and-coming European director Łukasz Twarkowski, appearing in Greece for the first time to present and epic, masterful, and singular story about our troubled times.

 Photo: Pinelopi Gerasimou