Copyrights and patents are necessities in today’s world, but where do you draw the line? Black might just be simply a color to most, but to artists it can mean a lot more… especially the blackest black in the world!
The Indian-born British artist and sculptor, Anish Kapoor, seems to be angering many artists of late by acquiring the exclusive rights to the blackest black in the world. The pigment, known as Vantablack, is so dark that it absorbs 99.96 percent of light. The color is produced by the UK firm Surrey NanoSystems and was developed for military purposes like the painting of stealth jets.
Christian Furr, the youngest artist ever commissioned to paint the Queen said, “I’ve never heard of an artist monopolizing a material. Using pure black in an artwork grounds it.” He added, “All the best artists have had a thing for pure black – Turner, Manet, Goya. This black is like dynamite in the art world. We should be able to use it. It isn’t right that it belongs to one man.” – Daily Mail
While Kapoor has declined to comment publicly on his copyright, he posted a non-verbal update on his Instagram on March 3, and he captioned the all-black field: “Kapoor Black.”
Kapoor isn’t the first to claim a color though. In 1960, Yves Klein invented a color and secured a patent on International Klein Blue. However, Kapoor isn’t the one that invented the color.
The thing to remember is that the coveted super-black substance is actually not paint but very tiny tubes composed of carbon, explains former NASA optical physicist John Hagopian, who now runs a startup developing carbon nanotechnology for engineering purposes. The super black is actually “grown” in the lab, the matte black effect coming from seeing a dense patch of these tiny carbon nanotubes which absorbs nearly all light.
For artists itching to use the scarce super-black substance, Hagopian cautions that applying the material is not as easy as picking up a can of paint. The process involves a gas mask and a special enclosure for the “complex chemical vapor deposition,” and inhaling the fine carbon-based material can be as hazardous as inhaling asbestos.- Quartz
I, like many others, don’t think it’s fair to monopolize a color like that. We’ll see how all this plays out I guess. It’s definitely an intriguing conversation, nonetheless, and I can’t wait to see how Kapoor uses the black (not just on Instagram hopefully). He must be experiencing insurmountable pressure to make sure he lives up to all the expectations from the world-wide art community…good luck Kapoor…good luck.