Vantablack – Can an artist ever really own a colour?

Anish Kapoor has the exclusive rights to paint using Vantablack, the blackest black that has ever existed – but other artists are keen to use it.

Colour is precious. Colour can drive you mad – especially if you are an artist. The colours that artists use can be as expensive as gold – which installationist Richard Wright painted on to a wall in Tate Britain to win the Turner prize – or as lethal as arsenic, which in the Romantic age was used to make the beautiful but deadly Scheele Green.

The colour currently ruffling artistic temperaments is black – but not just any black. This is the blackest black ever. Vantablack, developed by British company NanoSystems to use on stealth satellites reflects almost no light at all.

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