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The Feud Over The World’s Blackest Black and Pinkest Pink

Trickery, deception, insults and Instagram. The color war that has been waged between corporations for years (T-Mobile MagentaTiffany BlueUPS Brown, etc.) has found its way into the art community.

Ever since celebrated British artist, Anish Kapoor bought the rights to be the only artist allowed to use Vantablack other artist have been up in arms. But this is no ordinary black.

U.K.-based Surrey Nanosystems developed Vantablack a color so dark that a spectrometer can not measure it. When light hits a surface coated with Vantablack, it is completely absorbed, and the result is that all traces of contours and other features disappear.

You can see how these two identical busts look very different. The one coated with Vantablack appears to be a two-dimensional flat surface rather than the three-dimensional face on the left. It is hard to believe that these faces are exactly the same except for their color.

Changes in value are what give us a sense of dimension and space. Vantablack boggles our minds. There is something both fascinating and unsettling about how it changes our perception.

According to ArtNet News, “Already upon its release, Kapoor recognized the incredible possibilities of this new material, enlisting its inventors to help him develop ways to use the new “super black” for artistic applications. As part of the arrangement, he asked that Surrey NanoSystems work exclusively with him, leading to a bit of a firestorm in the artistic community, and at least one very personal Instagram feud with an artist who believes Kapoor should let others experiment with the new material”.

In retaliation to Kapoor buying the exclusive rights to the Vantablack pigment, British artist Stuart Semple created a fluorescent pink paint pigment said to be the “world’s pinkest pink.” but in order to purchase it customers must confirm that the “paint will not make its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor“. reports,

“The cerise pink shade is available to all artists except Kapoor, who is legally banned from purchasing it. It is sold in 50-gram pots on Semple’s website for no profit, with a price label of £3.99.

But Kapoor got his hands on the pink pigment, which he is legally forbidden from using. He flaunted the fact by dipping his middle finger into the “pinkest pink” pigment and posting a picture of it on Instagram.

Semple posted a video mocking Kapoor on his own Instagram page last night, which records himself writing “I will be good… I will share my colors” 100 times in white chalk on a blackboard.

Kapoor may own the rights to the worlds’ blackest black but in addition to the “world’s prettiest pink,” Semple has created “the “world’s greenest green”, the world’s loveliest blue”, and the “world’s yellowest yellow” and is urging purchasers to “refrain from sharing any with Kapoor or his associates”.

He also created the “world’s most glittery glitter“.

Rather than fight, perhaps these artists can collaborate — All that light that Kapoor’s black absorbs could be reflected by Semple’s glittery glitter or fluorescent pink. What do you think?

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