Color Feud Anish Kapoor VS Stuart Semple. Come on now- share the Black pigment Anish! I know you can copyright a Pantone color, but the blackest black? I don’t think that is ethical.
Anish Kapoor is Banned From Buying the World’s Pinkest Paint, by Kevin Holmes
Earlier this year it was revealed that sculptor and color-hoarder Anish Kapoor had been given exclusive rights to the blackest black in the world. Called Vantablack it was developed by British company NanoSystem—specialists in nanomaterials—who created it for military and scientific uses. However, after Kapoor contacted the company he was allowed to be the only artist in the world given permission to paint with it. Created with carbon nanotubes it is able to absorb 99.96% of visible light.
So if you wanted to get hold of some yourself, possibly to turn your living room into an abyss, that wasn’t happening. Kapoor also told The Guardian there’s an issue with producing sufficient quantities to paint with anyway because it’s so dense. Still, if you felt slighted by the exclusivity bestowed on Kapoor, then you might enjoy this retort by British artist Stuart Semple.
Image courtesy of the artist
Semple has released his own brand of pink paint called PINK. It’s not just any old pink paint though, it’s the world’s pinkest pigment and is available to everyone…except Anish Kapoor.
“When I first heard that Anish had the exclusive rights to the blackest black I was really disappointed,” Semple tells The Creators Project. “I was desperate to have a play with it in my own work and I knew lots of other artists who wanted to use it too. It just seemed really mean-spirited and against the spirit of generosity that most artists who make and share their work are driven by. I thought a good comment would be if I made a paint that was available to everyone but exclude him from using it. That way he can have a taste of his own medicine!”
When you go to purchase the paint, which is available at culturehustle.com for £3.99 ($4.95) for 50g of powder, you are required to make a legal declaration at the checkout stating that “you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make its way into the hands of Anish Kapoor.”
Image courtesy of the artist
As for why the color pink, Semple says he uses very vibrant colors in his work and this pink is his most distinctive and brightest, so thought that would be the best one to share. “It’s the best one I’ve got,” he says.
Semple developed the color (among others) over the last decade working with paint manufacturers from across the globe, looking to create the most vibrant colors for his work. The more a paint reflects light the more fluorescent it becomes, and Semple’s PINK is very reflective, meaning it gives off a very powerful fluorescence. “The pink already chucks out bucket loads of light but then we made it water soluble so it can be used as a paint and that took it up a notch.” explains the artist. “Basically, now it pretty much glows. Whilst Anish’s absorbs nearly all light, mine reflects it, kind of the antithesis of what his is doing.”
So what does Anish Kapoor think of all this? Has Semple told him? Will there be some kind of paint-off between the two colors? “One of my friends is good friends with a friend of Anish’s and apparently he’s desperate to get his hands on some PINK, ” notes Semple. “But I’m not budging till he shares the black. He started it!”
Visit Stuart Semple’s website here to learn more about the artist.