The deep black of Vantablack makes wrinkles in aluminum foil disappear.
Close Caption
Vantablack: Courtesy of Surrey NanoSystems; Anish Kapoor: ©Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.
Can You Own a Color?
One artist has exclusive rights to the world’s blackest substance

What’s the blackest black on the planet? It’s not the color of coal, a midnight sky, or even a panther’s fur. The blackest shade on Earth actually comes from a human-made substance called Vantablack. It’s believed to be the darkest material ever created. But that’s not all that has people talking. Recently, sculptor Anish Kapoor (ah-NEESH kah-POR) bought the exclusive rights to use Vantablack in art. Now, many are asking whether an artist should have a monopoly on a material or color.

A British company called Surrey NanoSystems originally developed Vantablack as a coating for military and scientific instruments. It absorbs nearly all the light that strikes its surface, making objects coated with the substance almost impossible to see. Some people say it’s like looking into a hole. When asked about the artistic applications of the material, Kapoor told the BBC, “Imagine a space that’s so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of where you are, what you are, and especially all sense of time.”

Kapoor makes sculptures that manipulate form and explore space. Some people believe that he’s the perfect person to experiment with Vantablack. But many in the art community object. They argue that if Kapoor has sole access to Vantablack, he is preventing other artists from innovating with the new substance.

This isn’t the first time an artist has claimed a color for himself. In 1960, French conceptual artist Yves Klein created and patented his own vivid shade of blue. Kapoor didn’t invent Vantablack, though, and it’s not a paint color but a unique substance. Representatives of Surrey NanoSystems say that as scientists, they’re staying out of the discussion, stating: “This debate is for the artistic community, we don’t want to get involved.”

What do you think? Should only one person have the right to use a color or material in his or her artwork?

CRAFT AN ARGUMENT
1. Explain the issue surrounding the artistic use of Vantablack.
2. Why do some people object to Kapoor having exclusive artistic rights to the material?
3. Should artists share access to new materials or technology? Why or why not?


I think all artists should share the ideas and materials, as long as they give credit to the one that discovered that certain material. I think that different things can be used in more than one way in art, so no single artist should be able to claim a color or object.
Posted by: Madisyn F. | August 29, 2016 at 2:25 PM
Can you own a color I think we should all just be equal and share the colors while we have them. If we all had a color in the world there will be no more colors even if u love the color becuase people change favorite color.
Posted by: Sarah r. | August 29, 2016 at 2:25 PM
I believe that not only one artist in the world is allowed to use the unique Vantablack. This rule goes against any form of pure judgement making him the one with the absolute power to use it. In which, this is not fair and ethical to other artists who have their own thoughts on using the substance. Kapoor is indeed great at sculpting but not the "BEST." So with that said, one person should not own a color violating the thought of equality and being ethical to one another.
Posted by: Muhamed J. | September 9, 2016 at 6:56 PM
We think artists should share materials so that others can make new colors using Vantablack, like Vantaorange, Vantablue.
Posted by: Kelly A. | September 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM
I think artists should be able to own a color because maybe other others will want to own their own color.
Posted by: Leia . | September 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM
I think it is reasonable for an artist to have a substance like Vantablack to him or herself because his art will be very unique.
Posted by: Janelle M. | September 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM
I truely believe that not only one person on Earth is allowed Vantablack. It takes away the right of being fair to others, it is a huge power not for one only. We all artists must be able to use it or none of us can.In order to promote equality and fairness to all users and experimenters.
Posted by: Muhamed J. | September 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Some believe that he’s the perfect person to experiment with Vantablack. But many in the art community argue that if Kapoor has sole access to Vantablack, he is preventing other artists from innovating with the new substance. People object that Kapoor should be having exclusive artistic rights to the material because other people would and will want to use it to created weird,cool and creative things for themselves.I believe that all artists should be allowed to use the same things- meaning material and ideas- considering that they 1)give credit tho the person that made it... and 2)they don't steal ideas.
Posted by: angelina r. | September 9, 2016 at 7:01 PM
I think that all artists should be able to use and experiment with new colors and use them in their artwork. It isn't fair that just one artist can have the right to use or own a color for themselves.
Posted by: Analiese M. | September 9, 2016 at 7:01 PM
I think artists should share materials so they can make new colors and if someone likes a different color and another one likes it too you don't have to fight over it and share it .
Posted by: anderson d. | September 19, 2016 at 8:41 PM
If you create a color and use it all for yourself, it just isn't fair, so, I think that we should all be equal to own every color there is.But you should give credit to the person who made that color
Posted by: MacKenzie V. | September 19, 2016 at 8:44 PM
I think you should be able to own a color, but if people want to use it, you would have to give the inventor of the color credit and their permission.
Posted by: Dylan L. | September 19, 2016 at 8:44 PM
The deep black of Vantablack makes wrinkle in aluminum foil disappear. It is the darkest material ever created. A British company called Surrey Nanosystems originally developed Vantablack as a coating for military and scientific instruments. The reason people are upset is because Kapoor would not let them because it prevents other people from innovating with the new substance. Should artists share access to new materials or technology? Why or why not? Yes, I think people should be able to use the color because they can learn new ways to use them. They could be better than the ones they used to use!
Posted by: Cole p. | September 19, 2016 at 8:46 PM
A British company called Surrey Nano System invented Vantablack. It was made to cover military and scientific instruments. Back in 2014, a team of British researchers made headlines for producing the blackest material known to science called Vantablack. Others objected to Anish Kapoor, owner of the Vantablack rights, because he prevented other artists from innovating with the new substance. Yes, I think people should share access to other ideas. Because people have different ways of development and need to share their thoughts with others. No, I also think that they shouldn’t be able to access to others ideas. Because other people can use them for bad things and get the one who they got it from in trouble.
Posted by: Evan S. | September 19, 2016 at 8:47 PM
Anish Kapoor bought the rights to a new color called Vantablack, which is a manmade color said to be the blackest substance on earth. Kapoor never made the color himself. The color was also made by a British called Surrey NanoSystems. The purpose of the color was originally to be used as a coating for military and scientific instruments. It absorbs nearly all of the light that strikes its surface, making anything coated with it close to impossible to see. People accuse Kapoor of preventing other artists from being able to come up with innovative ways to use Vantablack. They say that he’s kind of hogging all of the glory himself, which is odd because he never created it to begin with. I think that artists should share access to new materials or technology. It allows people to come up with more innovations to the inventions. Not only would making everyone but you unable to use it make innovations far from being discovered to never being discovered at all, it would also kind of make the invention pointless. If only one person could use it, what’s the point of it to the rest of the world? Not only that but it kind of gives people a bad reputation. If there’s something new that’s made or discovered, people are going to want to know about it. Hogging something new and unheard of yet possibly contributing to the world could cause man’s need to make life better for everyone else be triggered, causing chaos. It won’t be long before someone breaks into the home of Anish Kapoor, steals a container of Vantablack, and sells it via Deep Web or Dark Net.
Posted by: Nick S. | September 19, 2016 at 8:49 PM
In my opinion I think that we shouldn't be able to own a color because if I invented a color and a person invented a color that I thought was cooler I would want to use that color. I wouldn't like not being able to use another color, especially because most likely you'd get bored of using the same color over and over and you would probably want to use another color.
Posted by: Owen H. | September 26, 2016 at 7:38 PM
Ventablack is the darkest substance in the world. It's is owned by anish kapoorbut he did not create it. Kapoor bought the rights to use is in his artwork . The issue is people think kapoor should not be the only person to use the for milltary use and sceintific purposes. People object to kapoor having clurive artistic rights to the materia beacause they think he should share it with other artis. They think he should not be the only person able to use the substance. should artists share access to new materials or technology. I think yes because they can build news arts.
Posted by: zackery k. | September 26, 2016 at 7:38 PM
Ventablack is the darkest substance in the world.I'ts owned by Anish Kapoor but he did not create it. Kapoor bought the rights to use it in his artwork. surryNano system made it.People object to Kapoor having exclusive artist rights to the material because they think he should share.
Posted by: jaron c. | September 26, 2016 at 7:38 PM
Vantablack is the darkest substance in the world,it is owned by Anish Kapoor but he did not create vantablack. bought he right to use it in his art work.Surrey Nanosystems made it for military use and scientific purposes People object to kapoor having exclusive rights to the material because they think he should share it with the other artist.They think he should not be able to be the only person to use the substance. I think he should not share it with the other people because what if they want to do bad with it he could get into a lot of trouble for it and he might go to jail.
Posted by: Matori T. | September 26, 2016 at 7:38 PM
this is stupid! a guy makes a color and calls it his. so what! he cant own a color, that's like owning a cloud. anyone should be able to make their own colors so they can learn to make art better and this guy gets selfish and says It's his His HIS! how mean could a guy get!
Posted by: davis k. | October 10, 2016 at 5:28 PM

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated by Scholastic Editors. Your comments will not appear until they are approved by the Editors.
Enter your first name and the first initial of your last name only :
Enter comments here: