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Stuart Semple Protests Mattel Trademark with "Barbiest Pink" Paint

As the British artist believes no one should own a color.

With Barbie front and center as it takes over the box office, the toymaker behind the popular intellectual property, Mattel, has never had more interest in its registered trademarked signature pink.

One specific case of interest comes from British artist Stuart Semple who is both challenging and protesting the concept of “owning a color,” through the release of a purchasable paint offering dubbed “Pinkie” — which he says is the “barbiest pink.”

Pinkie has hit the art supply market as a high-quality acrylic resin that uses optical brighteners and fluorescent pigments. The offering is also seemingly a collectible work of art in itself, with a vibrant box that features a playful design reminiscent of the boxes the toys would come in, this includes a window and a “MAT-HEL” sticker to boot.

In the same vein that artists who use Mattel’s registered color might face legal implications, Semple, in an almost performative nature, makes those interested in purchasing his paint agree that they are not an employee of Mattel, associated with the company and that the paint will not make its way to Mattel.

Semple’s latest color, adds to his growing list of offerings that challenge legalities around colors. A list that includes hues like “Blink,” “TIFF,” “IKB,” and more — which challenge Anish Kapoor’s “Vantablack,” Tiffany’s signature blue and Yves Klein’s blue respectively.

In other art news, Cao Fei presents ‘Duotopia’ exhibition at Sprüth Magers Berlin.

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