Vantablack and the Art World

By Surrey NanoSystems (Surrey NanoSystems)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons
There is black and then there is BLACK. In the art world, there has been many ways to arrive at black, some are mixed, some are pure pigments, but when it comes to being truly black, none of them have reached the light-eating capabilities of Vantablack. Unfortunately, art meets selfishness when it comes to this black...

Created by Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack absorbs 99.965% of all visible light directed at it. It's so dark that many are uncomfortable looking at it as it basically flattens all shapes that it covers. In other words, this is impressively black in any way you might want to consider calling it. So, what's the selfishness? Well, for reasons known only to Surry NanoSystems and Anish Kapoor, the use of Vantablack in any art form is restricted to Kapoor and, for that, a lot of people are upset at Kapoor.

This has also created some interesting reactions in the art community...

For example, Stuart Semple has created a line of very strong pigments that are sold at cost to everyone, except Anish Kapoor as he is forbidden usage. The whole thing go started when Semple released "the World's Pinkest Pink" and included in the purchase agreement an attestation by the buyer that they are not Kapoor, or connected to him, and that they would not share the pigment with him. The pigments would expand to include blue, yellow, green, glitter, glow, and his version of a very rich, deep, black.

Kapoor, in what is arguably one of the most childish displays by an artist, famously posted a photo of his middle finger dipped in the pink pigment from Semple. This is where Surrey NanoSystems really made a mistake. I get that Kapoor is a famous sculpter, but Surrey NanoSystems now has their name forever intertwined with Kapoor's selfishness and, really, boorishness and I don't think that was something they were hoping for when they cut this deal.

As for Anish Kapoor? Well, it's likely the only person more hated than him, in the art world, is Richard Prince.