Can An Artist Ever Really Own A Colour?

Invisible energy … Vantablack, which absorbs almost all light that hits it. Photograph: Surrey Nano Systems

Long before Klein created IKB, painters and their patrons paid through the nose for the rarest of pigments, lapis lazuli. This mineral that creates the colour ultramarine has only ever been found in Afghanistan. In the middle ages, it was mined there and traded at enormous prices to create European images of the blue heavens. Gold leaf was then daubed on it to make stars.

Colour is magical, colour is divine – you can’t blame Anish Kapoor or his critics for going mad for Vantablack.

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