Pink paint created by Stuart Semple

This Artist Got Banned From Using The World’s Pinkest-Pink Paint

A proprietarily-inclined artist who made a name for himself creating vividly colorful, large-scale artwork recently drew the ire of his fellow artists and ended up getting himself banned from using the world’s pinkest-pink paint pigment in the process.

The colorful controversy began last March when Anish Kapoor decided to pursue a monopoly on the darkest pigment of black paint that had ever been developed. The pigment, known as Vantablack, is exclusively produced by NanoSystem, a British company who originally developed the carbon nanotube-based pigment for military technologies and scientific uses.

However, in an unprecedented move, Kapoor entered into an agreement with NanoSystem, ultimately acquiring the sole right to use the pitch-black pigment for artistic purposes. In an article for the Smithsonian, the fury against Kapoor’s color hoarding is explained.

“Finding just the right color to use can be maddening. For centuries, artists have fought to find the richest reds, deepest blues and most vibrant yellows to bring their works to life. Now, artists are calling foul as one of their own has been given the exclusive right to use the blackest black pigment ever created.”

World's blackest black paint
[Image by Surrey NanoSystems/Creative Commons]

Responding to the alleged selfishness of Kapoor, fellow color-lover and artist Stuart Semple developed a pigment of his own, the world’s pinkest-pink, and banned Kapoor from using it.

In an interview with Kevin Holmes for The Creators Project, Semple explained why he banned Kapoor from using his pink paint.

“When I first heard that Anish had the exclusive rights to the blackest black I was really disappointed. 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.”

Known simply as Pink, the uniquely bright color results from the many years that Semple spent working with scientists to create a variety of intensely vibrant hues to use in his artwork. The pigment that Semple helped to develop is available to anyone who wants it, anyone of course, except Anish Kapoor.

In a notably fitting twist, Semple’s Pink also happens to be extremely light reflective, meaning that the paint is practically fluorescent. “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.” explained the artist. “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.”

I just released the world's pinkest #pink paint! It's available to everyone except #AnishKapoor from – why? Because Anish has exclusive rights over the world's blackest black and he won't share! I think that's mean! So in sharing my pink in the hope it might convince Anish to #shareTheBlack the link to get some PINK is in my bio – thanks for supporting this mission! Stuart xx

A photo posted by Stuart Semple (@stuartsemple) on

Promoting Pink as probably the world’s pinkest-pink pigment that has ever been produced, Semple proclaimed that Kapoor may purchase the pink-powdered paint on one condition – that he permits other artists to use his precious Vantablack.

“Let all the artists have a go at it. Sharing’s nice!”

Until then, people who wish to purchase the pretty pink pigment are required to sign a legal disclaimer confirming that they are not Kapoor, nor do they have any association with the banned artist. However, according to Dezeen, while plenty of honest people have purchased the pink paint powder at a profit-free price, it has also somehow already landed in the possession of Kapoor himself. This turn of events was somewhat predictable, as Semple has previously stated that Kapoor hated being banned from using his pink paint.

“One of my friends is good friends with a friend of Anish’s and apparently he’s desperate to get his hands on some PINK. But I’m not budging till he shares the black. He started it!”

Confirming Semple’s claim, the banned artist recently posted a picture featuring a rude message in the form of his pink-pigment plastered middle finger.

Up yours #pink

A photo posted by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on

[Featured Image by Stuart Semple/Instagram]