A shade of black that is so dark it absorbs an astonishing 99.96% of all light is causing a stir in the arts world.
As a dad of two boys there are a few shades of brown I’ve witnessed when changing nappies that would make Picasso’s hair curl, but they’re nothing like this black, apparently.
I mention this black paint pot furore only because it blew up shortly after I wrote a piece last week on how paint-makers are getting lazy when it comes to naming their colours.
Among the ‘colours’ you can find in the decorating aisle at your local B&Q today are Ticklish, Hello Prism and Quaking Boy!?!
What they’d come up with if they had to name what is being described as the ‘blackest black’ in the world doesn’t bear thinking about, though my money would be on Not White. As it is, the pigment of black is called, rather dully, Vantablack.
And if you were hoping to buy a pot of Vantablack this weekend, you’re out of luck.
That’s because artist Sir Anish Kapoor has secured the exclusive rights to the paint. He’s the only person in the world allowed to use it.
Which is a pity because Sir Anish says the paint is so black that when you look into it “you lose all sense of who you are and what you are, and also all sense of time” and that’s exactly how I wanted to paint the boys’ bedrooms this weekend. Ah well, Magnolia it is then.
• Black is a dominant colour in our house. Not on the walls, however, but on the faces of our children. Namely, blackheads.
It’s not an area of child hygiene I normally venture into. There’s a strict demarcation in this area. She does the top half of our children, I do the bottom half.
Spots, dirty hair and tooth decay issues are dealt with by my wife. My particular area of expertise is in the toenail clipping department.
Anything in the middle and we draw lots. You get the short straw, and you deal with those varying shades of brown I mentioned before.
Fortunately, now our boys are 12 and 15, problems in that area are few and far between. But I was drawn into the blackhead department purely by chance.
I was asked to go online and buy an item, the likes of which I swear I had only ever seen in Amsterdam’s Museum of Torture.
What, you may well ask, was I doing in the Museum of Torture? Well, I’m all for culture and learning the lessons from the past, but have you seen the queues for Anne Frank’s House? And a torture museum was an easier sell to the kids … and my wife.
After sending off for the Professional Blackhead Extractor Facial Tool I can see where she got her ideas from.
This terrifying device explains the screams from the bathroom whenever my wife decides it is time to “deal with” our boys blackheads.
It also explains why this blackhead tool keeps going missing. I suspect the boys keep sending it back to the torture museum, via the bin.