Courtesy Stuart Semple /
Courtesy Stuart Semple /

British Artist Will Sell His New Paints to Everyone But His Nemesis

Courtesy Stuart Semple /
Courtesy Stuart Semple /

British artist Stuart Semple just came out with a dazzling pair of new paints that change color when they're heated up. And anyone can buy them for $27 to $31 apiece ... as long as you’re not Semple’s fellow artist Anish Kapoor. Thanks to a protracted battle over the use of a very special black color, Kapoor is legally forbidden from buying the paint, according to Vice.

The move is only the latest battlefront in a year-long war between Semple and Kapoor over the rights of artists to monopolize certain colors.

In February 2016, Kapoor earned the ire of essentially the whole art world by buying the exclusive rights to Vantablack, known as the blackest black ever created. Keeping a complete monopoly on a new color was derided as selfish and immoral by Kapoor’s critics. Artist Stuart Semple was one of those outraged critics, and he has since retaliated in kind, developing multiple paints that he has forbidden Kapoor from using.

First, in November 2016, Semple created what he called “the world’s pinkest pink,” selling it on his website for dirt cheap—as long as buyers certified that they were not Anish Kapoor “who won’t share his black!,” as the website states. Then he created “the world’s most glittery glitter,” a super-sparkly glitter made from high-grade glass shards. To Semple’s dismay, Kapoor did get his hands on the world’s pinkest pink through the London gallery that represents him, giving the feud new fuel in the form of an Instagram of Kapoor’s middle finger covered in uber-pink paint powder.

And then came Black 2.0, Semple’s attempt to create an extremely dark black that would actually be available to artists, unlike Vantablack. That, too, is sold under the agreement that the purchaser is not Kapoor.

Now, Semple has come out with yet more awesome-looking paints that Kapoor is banned from using, which he says is a response to news reports that Kapoor’s studio extension in London will block out his neighbors’ natural light. Shift and Phaze are color-changing paints that respond to heat. Shift transforms from Black 2.0 to a rainbow color, and Phaze transforms from a color called Purple Haze to Pinkest Pink.

Like basically everything on his site, Semple’s latest products come with this addendum in his online store:

"By adding this product to your cart you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item 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."

Even if Kapoor wasn’t planning on painting anything a transforming purple-pink, he probably wants to get his hands on this color. Both Phaze and Shift are incredibly fun to watch in action. If anything, this feud is only inspiring Semple to reach more creative heights. Regular artists may not be able to use Vantablack, but at least they’ve got some extremely fun alternatives.

[h/t Vice]

John MacDougall, Getty Images
Stolpersteine: One Artist's International Memorial to the Holocaust
John MacDougall, Getty Images
John MacDougall, Getty Images

The most startling memorial to victims of the Holocaust may also be the easiest to miss. Embedded in the sidewalks of more than 20 countries, more than 60,000 Stolpersteine—German for “stumbling stones”—mark the spots where victims last resided before they were forced to leave their homes. The modest, nearly 4-by-4-inch brass blocks, each the size of a single cobblestone, are planted outside the doorways of row houses, bakeries, and coffee houses. Each tells a simple yet chilling story: A person lived here. This is what happened to them.

Here lived Hugo Lippers
Born 1878
Arrested 11/9/1938 — Altstrelitzer prison
Deported 1942 Auschwitz

The project is the brainchild of the German artist Gunter Demnig, who first had the idea in the early 1990s as he studied the Nazis' deportation of Sinti and Roma people. His first installations were guerrilla artwork: According to Reuters, Demnig laid his first 41 blocks in Berlin without official approval. The city, however, soon endorsed the idea and granted him permission to install more. Today, Berlin has more than 5000.

Demnig lays a Stolpersteine.
Artist Gunter Demnig lays a Stolpersteine outside a residence in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.
Patrick Lux, Getty Images

The Stolpersteine are unique in their individuality. Too often, the millions of Holocaust victims are spoken of as a nameless mass. And while the powerful memorials and museums in places such as Berlin and Washington, D.C. are an antidote to that, the Stolpersteine are special—they are decentralized, integrated into everyday life. You can walk down a sidewalk, look down, and suddenly find yourself standing where a person's life changed. History becomes unavoidably present.

That's because, unlike gravestones, the stumbling stones mark an important date between a person’s birth and death: the day that person was forced to abandon his or her home. As a result, not every stumbling stone is dedicated to a person who was murdered. Some plaques commemorate people who fled Europe and survived. Others honor people who were deported but managed to escape. The plaques aim to memorialize the moment a person’s life was irrevocably changed—no matter how it ended.

The ordinariness of the surrounding landscape—a buzzing cafe, a quaint bookstore, a tree-lined street—only heightens that effect. As David Crew writes for Not Even Past, “[Demnig] thought the stones would encourage ordinary citizens to realize that Nazi persecution and terror had begun on their very doorsteps."

A man in a shop holding a hammer making a Stolpersteine.
Artisan Michael Friedrichs-Friedlaender hammers inscriptions into the brass plaques at the Stolpersteine manufacturing studio in Berlin.
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

While Demnig installs every single Stolpersteine himself, he does not work alone. His project, which stretches from Germany to Brazil, relies on the research of hundreds of outside volunteers. Their efforts have not only helped Demnig create a striking memorial, but have also helped historians better document the lives of individuals who will never be forgotten.

Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
60 Years Later, a Lost Stanley Kubrick Script Has Been Found
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images

A “lost” screenplay co-written by famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has been found after 60 years, Vulture reports.

The screenplay is an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella Burning Secret, which Vulture describes as a reverse Lolita (plot summary for those who forgot high school English class: a man enters a relationship with a woman because of his obsession with her 12-year-old daughter). In Burning Secret, a man befriends an adolescent boy in order to seduce his mother. Zweig’s other works have inspired films like Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (which the director claims he "stole" from Zweig's novels Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl).

Kubrick’s screenplay adaptation is co-written by novelist Calder Willingham and dated October 24, 1956. Although the screenplay bears a stamp from MGM’s screenwriting department, Nathan Abrams—the Bangor University professor who discovered the script—thinks it’s likely the studio found it too risqué for mass audiences.

“The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover, making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface,” Abrams told The Guardian. It's worth noting, however, that Kubrick directed an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in 1962, which MGM distributed, and it was also met with a fair share of controversy.

Abrams said the screenplay for Burning Secret is complete enough that it could be created by filmmakers today. He noted that the discovery is particularly exciting because it confirms speculations Kubrick scholars have had for decades.

“Kubrick aficionados knew he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed,” Abrams told The Guardian.

The Guardian reports that Abrams found the screenplay while researching his book Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film. The screenplay is owned by the family of one of Kubrick’s colleagues.

[h/t Vulture]


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