It looks like – after dress-gate – 2017 could be another great year for ridiculous online colour arguments. This time the cyber-scrap is over one artist’s exclusive use of “the world’s blackest black” and a campaign to stop him using “the world’s pinkest pink.” Confused? Well to get to the origin of this hue-based brouhaha we have to go back to spring 2016 when we reported on a new paint called Vantablack. Developed by British-based Surrey Nanosystems, the paint was created as the blackest black paint ever, letting fewer light particles escape from the pigment and giving the look of dense, flat, jet black. The company gave the exclusive right to use their product to world-famous artist Anish Kapoor.
Fast-forward a few months and online complaints of artistic elitism began to gather around the hashtag #sharetheblack, criticising Kapoor for hogging Vantablack’s bleak beauty for himself. But the campaign really took off when artist and provocateur Stuart Semple retaliated by creating his own pink paint, styled as “The World’s Pinkest Pink”, on sale to all via his website. “I think Anish Kapoor is a bit of a rotter really” says the artist in his online video launching the pink paint. He is countering what he sees as an unfair restriction on other artists by making it a condition of buying his “World’s Pinkest Pink” that you will not share it with Kapoor.
Fluorescent powdered pink paint, a pithy hashtag and a sense of internet outrage have caused this issue to go viral, with Instagram now fizzing with people posting pictures of their pink paint used to create anti-Kapoor artworks.
The most recent twist in the tale? Despite Semple’s best efforts Kapoor recently posted this image of his middle finger dusted with the world’s pinkest pink to his own Instagram account. It looks like this turf war over who has the right to use what colour could run and run.