Pink is a nice color, but PINK is way better. Created by British artist Stuart semple, after a decade of working with paint manufacturers from around the globe, PINK is the world’s pinkest pink. If you’re interested, you can buy 50 grams of it for $4.95, unless your name is Anish Kapoor.
In 2014, Indian artist Anish Kapoor shocked the art world when he acquired exclusive rights to use the world’s blackest black in his art. Developed by a company called NanoSystems, “Vantablack” is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes, and when light hits it, it is continually deflected between the tubes, essentially becoming trapped. Vantablack absorbs 99.96 per cent of light, which makes it the darkest pigment known to man.
Originally created for military and astronomic purposes, Vantablack also sparked the interest of artists around the world, who dreamed of using it in their works. So when NanoSystems announced that Indian artist Anish Kapoor had been granted exclusive rights to use the world’s darkest black, everyone was furious. That includes Stuart semple, who is trying to make a point by making his pinkest pink available to everyone, except Anish Kappor.
Photo: Stuart semple/Culture Hustle
“When I first heard that Anish had the exclusive rights to the blackest black I was really disappointed,” Semple tells The Creators Project. “I was desperate to have a play with it in my own work and I knew lots of other artists who wanted to use it too. It just seemed really mean-spirited and against the spirit of generosity that most artists who make and share their work are driven by. I thought a good comment would be if I made a paint that was available to everyone but exclude him from using it. That way he can have a taste of his own medicine!”
“I don’t think it’s really very fair! We all remember kids at school who wouldn’t share their colouring pencils, but then they ended up on their own with no friends,” Stuart writes on his website. “It’s cool, Anish can have his black. But the rest of us will be playing with the rainbow!”
PINK is currently available for purchase on Culture Hustle, for $4.95, but anyone who wants to buy it has to make a legal declaration during the online checkout process confirming 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.”
Photo: Stuart semple/Culture Hustle
So basically PINK is available to everyone, except Anish Kapoor.
What makes Stuart Semple’s PINK so special, you ask? Well, it’s very reflective, giving off a strong fluorescence. “The pink already chucks out bucket loads of light but then we made it water soluble so it can be used as a paint and that took it up a notch,” the artist explains. “Basically, now it pretty much glows. Whilst Anish’s absorbs nearly all light, mine reflects it, kind of the antithesis of what his is doing.”
Asked if he knows what Anish Kapoor thinks about PINK and being barred from using it, Semple said that a friend of his knows a friend of Kapoor’s, who claims that the Indian artist “desperate to get his hands on some PINK.”
“But I’m not budging till he shares the black. He started it!” Stuart Semple concludes.
UPDATE: Well, this didn’t go according to plan. Shortly after this article was published, Anish Kapoor posted this photo on his Instagram account:
Photo: Anish Kapoor
I guess he’s not sharing the black…