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The Color Wars: When Artists Can’t Play Nice

Images taken from the Instagrams of Anish Kapoor and Stuart Semple via Gizmodo

Images taken from the Instagrams of Anish Kapoor and Stuart Semple via Gizmodo

Many artists were ticked off when Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor acquired excusive rights to the world’s “blackest black,” reports artnet. Known as Vantablack, the pigment is so dark that it absorbs 99.96 percent of light. Kapoor has been experimenting with the super black paint since 2014, developed originally for military purposes.

British artist Stuart Semple explained his irritation in Gizmodo:

He’s [Kapoor] signed an exclusive agreement with the creators of VantaBlack which blocks any other artist from using it. Nobody forced him or them to enter into an agreement like that. It’s a heinous ego driven pact which stops every other artist after him from working with the inventors of Vantablack on art projects. This is the first time in history all artists have been banned from using a substance. Nobody else is banned only artists that’s a very dodgy way to be going about things.

Semple upped the ante by developing the “pinkest pink,” available on his website. (He adds this disclaimer: “we’re not actually sure if this is the worlds pinkest pink ever, it could well be! It’s the pinkest we could come up with, and we’ve not seen anything pinker.” The pink is available for anyone to purchase. Except Anish Kappor. Before acquiring the super pink, buyers are required to check this off:

By adding this product to your cart you confirm 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 it’s way into that hands of Anish Kapoor.

Then things got silly. Kapoor and Semple posted evidence of thefts of each other’s super colors on their Instagram accounts (pictured above). Semple holds up a pigmented peace sign; Kapoor’s hand gesture is not so peaceful.

Now, Semple has added “Diamond Dust: The World’s Most Glittery Glitter,” offered at £7.99 for a 75g jar. Again, the promotional text reads, “This super-glitter by Stuart Semple is available to everyone except Anish Kapoor!”

also by Paula Newton
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