Anish Kapoor bags exclusive rights to 'darkest black'

Anish Kapoor bags exclusive rights to 'darkest black'

Anish Kapoor bags exclusive rights to 'darkest black'

Award-winning Mumbai-born sculptor Anish Kapoor has bagged the exclusive rights to a pigment described as the darkest black, its manufacturer said today.

The London-based artist behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 has the sole right to use Vantablack S-Vis 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 told PTI.

"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.

Vantablack is used in satellites to improve their performance and in fact was recently used in the Kent Ridge I satellite which was launched from the Sirharikota space port near Chennai last December.

It also has other precision uses in telescopes for deep space explorations and for high-end jewellers and watchmakers.

Vantablack is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes and when light strikes, it becomes trapped instead of bouncing off and is continually deflected between the tubes.

Kapoor, 61, has been working with Surrey NanoSystems since 2014 and this exclusive agreement grew out of that long association. The company has refused to confirm the time-frame covered by the exclusivity agreement but said it would be "reviewed at agreed periods".

Kapoor, who won the coveted Turner Prize in 1991, 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 recently told 'Artforum' in reference to the new black pigment.

Some artists have expressed their unhappiness that the rights of its use anywhere in the art world now lies exclusively with him.

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