Artist Anish Kapoor has been legally forbidden from using a colour labelled as the “world's pinkest pink,” which is a reflective powdered pigment that repels light to create a powerful fluorescence. British artist Stuart Semple created the fluorescent pink paint pigment earlier this year, in retaliation to Kapoor buying the exclusive rights to the Vantablack pigment, said to be the blackest shade of black ever created. Eat your heart's our Spinal Tap! The “Cerise Pink” shade is available to all artists except Kapoor, who is legally banned from purchasing it. The colour is sold in 50-gram pots on Semple's website for no profit, with a price label of £3.99, but customers must confirm that the paint will not make its way into the hands of Kapoor. They are obliged to agree to a legal declaration that states: “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.” Now that's what you call a grudge!
That's not where the story ends though, as, despite the ban, the Indian-born British artist has someone managed to get his hands on Semple's unique shade of pink. Kapoor posted a picture of his middle finger dipped in the paint to his Instagram account with the caption “Up yours #pink.” Understandably upset by Kapoor's actions, Semple responded by putting out a call to find out how he stole the colour. He explained: “I was really sad and disappointed that he felt so left out that he needed to orchestrate some conspiracy to steal our pink.” Semple also said that he is determined that Kapoor should be punished for his actions, or at least apologise. He added: “We'll be dobbing him in, he will be told off and hopefully that will teach him to share his colours in future. It would be nice if he owned up, said sorry and gave me my Pink back.”
The Instagram community was also disappointed in Kapoor, and vented its collective anger by bringing back the #sharetheblack hashtag, which was initially a protest against Kapoor's monopoly of the black shade. Not admitting defeat, Semple has also created the “world's most glittery glitter,” the “world's greenest green” and the “world's yellowest yellow” and is urging purchasers to refrain from sharing them with Kapoor or his associates. The paints are all completely sold out on Semple's Culture Hustle online shop. We couldn't tell you at this point, however, if Kapoor has someone managed to get his hands on any of them, legitimately or otherwise.
Vantablack is currently the blackest substance known. In fact it's so dark that it absorbs 99.96% of light. Made up of a series of microscopic vertical tubes, when light strikes the pigment it becomes trapped instead of bouncing off, and is continually deflected between the tubes. It was developed by the British company NanoSystems for military purposes and astronomy equipment, but the company allowed Kapoor to be the only artist able to use it. The news sparked outrage among other artists at the time, including English painter Christian Furr, who said: “I've never heard of an artist monopolising a material. Using pure black in an artwork grounds it. All the best artists have had a thing for pure black; Turner, Manet, Goya. This black is like dynamite in the art world. We should be able to use it, it isn't right that it belongs to one man.” Quite right too we say!