Anish Kapoor in ‘pinkest pink’ row in London, gets his hands on colour despite being banned by its creator


Award-winning Mumbai-born sculptor Anish Kapoor has triggered a row with the creator of the world’s “pinkest pink” by acquiring the colour illegally.

The 61-year-old London-based artist had hit the headlines earlier this year after he had acquired the exclusive right to use the world’s “blackest black”.

Artist Stuart Semple retaliated by banning him from purchasing or using the “PINK” created by him.

Buyers of the paint were asked to sign a legal declaration at checkout to ensure that the Kapoor or his associates would not be able to get their hands on it, according to ‘The Independent’.

But last week Kapoor posted a picture of his middle finger dipped in PINK on social media with the caption “Up yours”.

Up yours

A photo posted by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on

“It’s obviously very disappointing that Anish has illegally got his hands on the world’s Pinkest paint,” Semple told ‘The Creators Project’.

“If anyone knows who is behind sharing it with him it would be good if they could come forward. Anish is still very much at large, not just with the blackest black but now the stolen pinkest pink. Luckily he’s failed to get his hands on the world’s glitteriest glitter so we would urge purchasers to refrain from sharing any with him or his associates,” he added.

The “glitteriest glitter” refers to “Diamond Dust”, which Semple released at the same time in response to Kapoor’s acquisition of PINK.

“He’ll never have seen this one coming and he’s not getting a grain of this glitter until he stops acting like such a rotter and shares the mega black!” he said.

The so-called blackest black or Vantablack S-Vis is produced by UK-based Surrey NanoSystems.

“We have an agreement with Sir Anish Kapoor for the exclusive worldwide right to use Vantablack S-Vis in the creative arts. The agreement does not cover any other field,” a spokesperson for Surrey NanoSystems had said earlier this year.

“This special material has a very unusual and unique appearance. It is used within optical instruments to improve how they control light. It has the potential of turning 3D objects into 2D because there just isn’t enough light for the brain to perceive the object fully,” he explained.

Kapoor, who won the coveted Turner Prize in 1991 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, is known for his unique ability to experiment with very bright and dark colours.

“The nanostructure of Vantablack is so small that it virtually has no materiality. It’s thinner than a coat of paint and rests on the liminal edge between an imagined thing and an actual one.

It’s a physical thing that you cannot see, giving it a transcendent or even transcendental dimension, which I think is very compelling,” he told ‘Artforum’ in reference to the black pigment.

He has been working with Surrey NanoSystems since 2014 and the exclusive agreement grew out of that long association.