Contemporary art's most bizarre feud heats up with the creation of a new colour-changing paint available to all — except Kapoor.
Courtesy Stuart Semple.
This article was originally published by i-D Australia.
Anish Kapoor can't seem to catch a break! The artist sent waves of anger through the art world in March after securing the exclusive rights to Vantablack, the darkest artificial material ever made. British contemporary artist Stuart Semple was particularly unhappy that Kapoor secured the exclusive rights to use it, and the two artists have been feuding over pigment ever since.
After Kapoor locked down Vantablack, capable of absorbing 99.965% of visible radiation (or, in other words, eating lasers) Semple created the hashtag #sharetheblack. Semple then decided to create the world's pinkest pink, available to all artists but Kapoor. In retaliation, Kapoor secured some of the super-powered pink and flaunted it on Instagram — with the rather cheeky caption "up yours."
Still not satisfied, Semple created an 'opened-sourced' version of Vantablack: the pigment was free, and cherry scented to boot. That was where the artists left it, at least until this week.
Anish has again angered Semple, this time with a proposed expansion to his London studio. Local residents fear that should Anish add another floor to his building, they'll be left without sunlight. Kapoor's unhappy neighbours have created a change.org petition against the development, and a sympathetic Semple has created another super-paint in retaliation.
Today, Semple shared a pair of videos of the brilliant colour-changing paint, with the hashtag #sharetheblack. Kapoor is again banned from acquiring the two shades, titled Phaze and Shift. Each change colours when exposed to a certain temperature: Phaze from purple to magenta, and Shift from black to a multicoloured chrome.
"Every time I see a new piece of work on the #sharetheblack hashtag I feel so excited, and I know that it proves to Kapoor and the creators of Vantablack that color hoarding and robbing are wrong," Semple told Creators. He hopes that Shift and Phaze will be the "final blow in [this] Anish Kapoor art war."
Text Isabelle Hellyer
Image courtesy Stuart Semple