One of the world’s “blackest black” paints is getting even darker. Stuart Semple, the man responsible for the light-absorbing Black 2.0, is back with a pigment that promises to be a “black hole in a bottle.” Aptly called Black 3.0, the special acrylic paint is formulated to consume between 98% and 99% of visible light. When applied to a three-dimensional object, it makes the item look like a gap has suddenly been cut into the Earth.
So, how does one create such a deep matte black? To start, Semple and his team “went back to the basics of paint making.” They knew that the issue with existing black pigments was that they have some sheen to them. To avoid the shine, they created their own pigment called Black Magick. Because it was “born matte,” they didn’t have to add the slightly gray tinters found in Black 2.0. Semple also formulated a new acrylic polymer to bind the pigment. “It’s special because it has more available bonds than any other acrylic polymer being used in paints,” he explains. “This means it can cling onto way more pigment, leading to a really dense pigment load and a depth of color not previously possible.”
You can pre-order Black 3.0 via Semple’s Kickstarter. That is, of course, unless you are the artist Anish Kapoor or associated with him in any way. The feud started when Kapoor co-opted exclusive rights to using the ultra-black Vantablack paint, effectively dashing the dreams of other creatives incorporating it into their work. That’s when Semple fought back with Black 2.0 and made it accessible for everyone—except Kapoor.
Get your 150ml bottle of Black 3.0 for around $33 USD. It is set to be released in May 2019.