blackest black Anish Kapoor banner

Leading artist and designer Anish Kapoor has caused quite a stir in the art world, not only by first claiming exclusive rights to the world’s ‘blackest black’, but then by flaunting his use of the ‘pinkest pink’, a colour he is banned from using.

All sound sufficiently ridiculous to you?

The Indian-born British artist, famous for works including London 2012’s Orbit Tower, gained exclusive rights in 2014 to the use of Vantablack, a black pigment so dark that it is supposedly the the darkest black ever created. Developed by Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack is a pigment formed by millions of microscopic vertical tubes that absorb 99.96% of light. Ever the magnanimous one, Kapoor acquired the rights to the pigment and then, together with NanoSystems, promptly banned all other artists from using it.


blackest black Anish_Kapoor 1(Image credit: Surrey NanoSystems)


Not to be outdone, fellow British artist Stewart Semple then worked to develop a new pigment, dubbed ‘the world’s pinkest pink’, and made it available on his website to all artists except Kapoor. The tale of petty intrigue doesn’t stop there, however, as Kapoor has since posted an image on his Instagram account literally sticking the finger to Semple’s pink pigment.


Up yours #pink

A photo posted by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on


How has the design world reacted? Well, behind the sniggers and calls to for the two artists (particularly Kapoor) to grow up, an interesting debate has been raised about the rights to materials in design. Artist Christian Furr, for one, has claimed that “we should all be able to use it. It isn’t right that it belongs to one man.”

Where do you stand on this debate? Let us know on Twitter.

(Banner image credit: Stewart Semple)

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