The liberation of Barbie pink

British artist Stuart Semple has created what he calls “the Barbiest pink”, an acrylic paint called Pinkie, as a challenge to Mattel’s ownership of the Barbie pink colour.

Semple is well known for challenging the ownership of colours and ‘liberating’ them for the public to use. Most notoriously, he challenged artist Anish Kapoor’s exclusive rights to Vantablack (read more about this here), the blackest black at the time, with his own World’s blackest black’. Anyone who isn’t Kapoor or associated with him, can purchase that colour.

Now, Semple is back with ‘the Barbiest pink’ acrylic paint as a response to Mattel, the owner of the Barbie brand, exclusive right to the shade. Mattel painted a real-life version of Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse in this shade while there was a global shortage.

Semple’s ‘Pinkie’ is “the flattest, mattest highly pigmented fluorescent pink acrylic paint” that is “way pinker” than Barbie-pink. According to the description, the paint uses a special blend of high quality acrylic resins, optical brighteners and new fluorescent pigments to make “a lush flat matte pink so bright your screen can’t show you the vibrancy”. It can be purchased by anyone as long as they are not associated by Mattel.

Photos: Stuart Semple