Famed sculptor Anish Kapoor is at the heart of an on-going colour battle. In 2016, the Indian-born, British-based artist bought exclusive rights to what was then the blackest black in the world. Called Vantablack, the military-grade pigment absorbs 99.96 per cent of light. Needless to say, artists everywhere were outraged, and did not hold back with their criticisms that his actions were immoral and against the ethos of creativity. One artist in particular, Stuart Semple, made it his mission to fight back, and create new pigments that Kapoor cannot use.
His first creation, Stuart Semple Pink, was named the worlds pinkest pink, and made readily accessible to all, except Anish Kapoor. Semple made headlines with his purchasing disclaimer, “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 its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor.”
Eventually, of course, Kapoor got his hands on (and in) the pigment,flaunting his success on social media with the caption, “Up yours #pink”. With the release of Vantablack 2.0, an even blacker black, Semple has admitted this feud has gone too far. That being said, the artist has just released a new colour-changing pigment, Phaze, specifically not for Kapoor’s use. Semple has also created a petition to prevent Kapoor from using this pigment and stop him from “stealing the light and colour from his neighbours.” Regardless, the situation is pushing artists to think out of the box and create new things, a little colour war never hurt nobody!