Rothko's work was influenced by Nietzsche, Greek mythology, and his Russian-Jewish heritage; Rothko's art emanated emotional content that he articulated through a range of styles that evolved from figurative to abstract. Rothko's early figurative work - including landscapes, still lifes, figure studies, and portraits - demonstrated an ability to blend Expressionism and Surrealism. His search for new forms of expression led to his color field paintings, which employed shimmering color to convey a sense of spirituality (not necessarily a religious spirituality). Rothko advocated and insisted upon the artist's total freedom of expression, which he felt was compromised by the market place.
Award-winning incarcerated author Christopher Zoukis writes about his law practice and time in federal prison.