I seem to produce these things on an annual basis now, but they’re always worth the wait (IMHO).
A few weeks ago a creative called Ben Friend got in touch:
For the past couple of years I’ve been working with a conceptual artist called Stuart Semple sort of CDing his studio and also half-arsedly running the e-comm business that is Culture Hustle. You may or may not know how CH came about. If you don’t, here’s the story. So a few years ago Billionaire artist Anish Kapoor bought the rights to Vantablack, the most dense black material on the planet. Once he had done this he stated that no other artist would be allowed to use it. This pissed Stuart off as he believes that colour can’t be owned. As a piece of performance art he made a pinkest pink powder pigment released on the internet. He stated that it was for everyone, except Anish Kapoor. When you bought the pigment you had to sign a disclaimer that you were not AK, Were not buying on behalf of AK. It blew up so he then launched a kickstarter to fund the making of his own blackest black paint to rival the one in AK’s possession. He raised a ton of cash and made a really good black paint available to everyone. Hilariously this idea grew and that when I came in to give purpose to this accidental business and come up with new materials that are consistent with the original mischievous intent and also help Stuart with the ideas in his art practice. You can read all this and more of course but the reason I’m writing to you is to ask, would you be interested in talking to Stuart on your podcast.
How could I be anything other than intrigued?
Now that I’ve spoken to Stuart I’m a little surprised I hadn’t heard of him. In fact, it’s more likely that I had heard of him, but now that I’m getting old my memory is not what it was.
He’s definitely the ITIAPTWC interviewee with the longest Wikipedia entry, but beyond that he is insanely fascinating. From basically dying, to being managed by Uri Geller, to selling £1m of art one year only to be homeless the next… Just one of these situations would be the most interesting occurrence in my life, but he seems to attract/generate/create them on a regular basis.
And that’s because he’s a real artist. His life is his art and vice versa.
Beyond that, he’s had a lot of contact with the ad industry, and could definitely show us a thing or ten thousand about what real creativity is, as well as how to generate massive fame time and time again.
If you’d like to find out more, follow the rabbit hole of his Wikipedia page, or check out this fantastic project he created in response to Adobe ringfencing lots of their colours.
And here’s the Soundcloud link to our chat. (WordPress is currently refusing to upload the file to iTunes, so I’m going to keep trying things until I get that to happen. Apologies…)