A Man Fell in An Artwork That Looks Like a Cartoon Blackhole
Not everybody ‘gets’ art, but one man’s failure to comprehend the artwork in front of him was so extreme he literally fell through a black void into limbo. A museum visitor scrutinising Anish Kapoor’s Descent Into Limbo at the Serralves Museum in Portugal let curiosity get the better of him when inspecting the ultra-black optical illusion, and unwittingly fell into it.
The 60-year-old Italian tourist who fell required hospital treatment because the installation may resemble a flat, 2D black hole painted on the concrete floor of a room, but it’s actually a deep three-dimensional ‘void’ that descends over 8 ft. into the ground.
The illusion is made possible by an extremely dark pigment that coats the internal walls of the hole so they reflect hardly any light, making them almost impossible to see with the human eye. “Vantablack” is the blackest material on Earth and was invented by British researchers in 2014 and capable of absorbing 99.96 percent of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light. The artist acquired exclusive rights to use Vantablack in art back in 2016, something which ruffled feathers elsewhere in the art world.
The description for the exhibit is “The sculpture is an expression of Kapoor’s interests in the formal and metaphoric play between light and darkness, inside and outside, the contained and the infinite.”