If you’ve been following the Anish Kapoor versus Stuart Semple colour war, then you’ll be pleased to know there’s a new player on the scene – Singularity Black. Created by neither British artist, instead, Singularity Black was developed by Massachusetts-based manufacturer NanoLab – a company not to be confused with UK-based Surrey NanoSystems, who came up with Vantablack, which was once the blackest black.
When Vantablack was released, Kapoor (a 63-year-old man) gained the exclusive artistic rights to use it. This angered Semple (also grown, at 36), so much that he hit back with the pinkest pink, the glitteriest glitter and BLACK2.0 – which took the blackest black crown from Vantablack – and allowed anybody in the whole wide world to use it except Kapoor.
But the woes of two adult men aside, Singularity Black actually came about for a much more important reason. Space. And while technically Vantablack is actually blacker than Singularity Black, here’s the difference: since 2011, NanoLab, alongside NASA, has been researching ways to reduce glare on space equipment, and, so far, Singularity Black holds the lowest visible reflectance of any paint, ever. It absorbs so much light that it makes objects look completely flat, even if they aren’t – thanks to a hell of a lot of carbon nanotubes. It also borrows its name, Singularity Black, from the centre of a black hole. It’s quite black.
The best bit? It’s available for anyone to use, with Boston-based artist Jason Chase being the first. A few weeks ago, he unveiled the first Singularity Black-coated artwork, “Black Iron Ursa”, which is a gummy bear sculpture sat on top of a rainbow painted wheel.
However, for all its pros, there are teething problems. As reported by Hyperallergic, Singularity Black is very fragile, wiping off completely if touched when wet. It also allegedly needs many coats in order to live up to its title as the blackest-ever black. But NanoLab assures improvements are on the way, and you can test it for yourself here.