The artist behind The Bean, a beloved tourist attraction in Chicago’s Millennium Park, is in a seriously petty Instagram feud over the color black. Not just any black—Vantablack, the blackest black known to man, designed by Surrey NanoSystems to absorb 99.965 percent of visible light.
Anish Kapoor—creator of the kidney-shaped, reflective artwork that is officially called Cloud Gate but known more colloquially as “the bean”—was so drawn to Vantablack that he bought the exclusive rights to it, causing a storm in the art world.
In response, British artist Stuart Semple created “The World’s Pinkest Pink.” It’s available to purchase on Semple’s website to anyone except Kapoor, who, according to Semple, “won’t even share his black.” One of the big draws to The World’s Pinkest Pink is that it “goes bonkers” under a blacklight, seemingly a further knock on Vantablack. What’s more, a disclaimer on Semple’s website reads:
By adding this product to your cart you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information, and belief, this paint will not make its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor.
While the visual artists took to Instagram to promote their products and lord them over each other, someone disobeyed Semple’s rules and gave Kapoor the pink, which led to this:
The two have gone back and forth a few more rounds, though it may have reached a happy conclusion: Semple posted a video giving the peace sign, a seemingly friendly gesture, with his fingers painted an incredibly deep shade of black. (Whether or not it is actually Vantablack is disputed.) Hopefully the two have made up, and the color world can again be at peace.