Artists who want to get their hands on the world’s blackest black will now have to settle for another hue. Quartz reports that famed British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor has gained exclusive rights to use Vantablack, said to be the darkest material ever made.
UK nanotech company Surrey NanoSystems originally developed Vantablack with astronomy and potential military purposes in mind. However, Kapoor has been creating with the shade since 2014, The Guardian reports. It’s made of a bunch of microscopic carbon nanotubes that are bunched so tightly together that they absorb all but 0.035 percent of visible light. “It's blacker than anything you can imagine," Kapoor once told BBC Radio 4. “It's so black you almost can't see it. It has a kind of unreal quality."
Artists around the world are rankled that Kapoor has exclusive access to the beguiling black. “We should be able to use it. It isn't right that it belongs to one man,” a painter named Christian Furr told the The Daily Mail. However, Kapoor is by no means the first artist to lay claim to a color. In 1960, the artist Yves Klein registered a formula for a deep blue shade with the French government. He called it IKB, or International Klein Blue.
It looks like Kapoor will take a cue from Klein and name his new hue after himself: He recently posted an all-black picture to Instagram and captioned it “Kapoor Black.”