NOW I am much taken this morning with the blackest black there has ever been.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, the sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor has exclusive use of this darkest pigment, known as Vantablack and originally used to help keep satellites hidden. Artist Christian Furr is challenging Sir Anish’s ownership of this colour, telling the Mail “this black is like dynamite in the art world”.
According to the report, this black absorbs 99.96 per cent of the light that hits it – which happens to be about the same chance of my wife wondering whether you can get this colour yet from Farrow & Ball.
I saw some of Sir Anish’s sculptures at a gallery in Nottingham a few years ago and they were fantastic, but it does seem odd that one artist should be able to claim ownership of a colour.
That is, of course, if black is a colour, something which is always a matter for debate. One common answer to that question is that black isn’t a colour because it absorbs light and is the absence of colour; whereas white is a colour because it is the blending of all colours.
If that doesn’t make sense, find a passing artist, but do be tactful about mentioning Sir Anish making off with all the tins of Vantablack (surely to be called Dynamite Pitch when Farrow & Ball do get round to stocking it).
The handy thing about this paint is that it covers all topics. The Sunday papers are full of Europe this morning, with David Cameron being warned by members of his own party to tone down his anti-European statements, with the Mail talking of a Tory feud ‘Meltdown’. Oh, I do like to see a melting Tory.
Some on the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party believe Cameron has gone too far in painting the ‘leave’ case as black as possible. Incidentally, if David Cameron were a Farrow & Ball colour it would be called something like Hues He Kidding, a tin of indeterminate shade that changes colour every time you look at it.
It happens that I agree with David Cameron over Europe, almost the first time I’ve agreed with that man about anything. But painting the anti-Europe case too black could well end up alienating voters, and push them into the ‘No’ camp. So he should be careful with the blackest of black paint tin.
If we turn to the United States, we can see that the Vantablack might be needed this week after Super Tuesday, so called because 11 states hold their contests to choose a candidate on the same day. This is because it now looks highly likely that Donald Trump could be the Republican candidate – a scenario once seen as impossibly unlikely.
Viewed from this distance, it still seems remarkable, and remarkably alarming, that such a hate-filled, ignorance-propelled fruitcake could be in with a chance of becoming President.
If Donald Trump were a colour, the tin would bear the words – and do pardon me – Bullshit Bluster, recommended for when you want to throw everything at a room, scattering paint in all directions and hitting everything in sight, whether or not it needs painting.
The billionaire property tycoon probably sells that shade of paint already, and proudly too, as he does a line a self-glorying merchandise, selling Trump this and Trump that, along especially with his political philosophy, Trump’s Malignant Bollocks (pardon me again).
Trump absorbs 99.96 of all good sense and humanity and turns it into political Vantablack. He is also wildly inconsistent, changing his mind about everything all the time, preferring to hoof the moment and wing it. And he scares the black stuff out of me.
Back over here, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those who attended the anti-Trident march in London yesterday. Now nuclear warfare truly is the blackest black there is, and my heart beats with Corbyn over a what he calls a “nuclear-free Britain and a nuclear-free future” – but I’m not sure it will ever happen, and his support for this desired but improbable future is unlikely to make him electorally popular, I’d say.
But at least Jeremy Corby has stuck by what we’d better not call his guns; stuck by his allotment spade, perhaps.