One of the world’s “blackest black” paints is becoming even darker. Stuart Semple, the person responsible for the light-absorbing Black 2.0, has returned with a color which claims to be a “black hole in a bottle.” Appropriately termed Black 3.0, the unique acrylic pigment is developed to consume somewhere between 98% and 99% of observable light. When put on a three-dimensional object, it makes the object look like a hole in space.
After a two year development period, the artist Stuart Semple states that his team has produced the “mattest, flattest, blackest” acrylic paint on the planet. Artist Anish Kapoor might beg to differ. If you have followed this particular beef among artists, you already know the reason why. Back in 2016, the well known Kapoor licensed the exclusive legal rights to a different paint, the so-called “world’s blackest black,” Vantablack. Every other artist was prohibited from using the color, which had been originally formulated for satellite and scientific applications. The art community excoriated Kapoor. Semple then created and unveiled the world’s pinkest pink and made it commercially available to absolutely everyone except Kapoor.
The first paragraph of the Kickstarter’s “about” section makes this abundantly clear:
“Important: By backing this project you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not backing this on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this material will not make its way into the hands of Anish Kapoor.”
Black 3.0 is “the blackest, the mattest paint in the known universe,” Semple said in the Kickstarter video for the new paint, which reportedly absorbs up to 99 percent of all light, compared to 99.96 percent for the original Vantablack. “It’s like a black hole or a void in a bottle.”
As opposed to Vantablack’s “military nanotech-grade super NASA stuff,” said Semple, Black 3.0 is an acrylic paint that can be easily used in conjunction with traditional art materials. It’s based on a new Black Magick pigment that his team developed in the lab that is naturally matte.
The Kickstarter funds will be used to employ a factory to produce Black 3.0 in bulk through pre-orders of the paint. “Unfortunately, this stuff is so advanced and way beyond what we can make here in our little studio,” Semple said. His team of artists and paint makers currently works out of a studio in Dorset, on the south coast of England.
To date, the studio team have shared countless art materials with thousands and thousands of people worldwide: from the world’s most potent light-emitting pigment powder (‘LIT’); to the world’s first not-for-profit watercolour palette (‘PALETTE’), which meant all artists could afford professional watercolours; and even a set of completely compostable plant-based glitters (‘DAZZLE’), making the most dazzling glitters available without harm to the environment through microplastics.
“I can’t quite believe how much love there is out there for paint! It’s incredible when the community comes together and decides to do something. I’m so excited to see what people make with this stuff! Thank you so so much!”
Get your 150ml bottle of Black 3.0 for around $33 USD. It is set to be released in May 2019.