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Robert Whitman | Prince Pre-Fame 1977


  • Mr Musichead Gallery 7420 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90046 United States (map)

Tickets for the opening reception available here.
On display until June 24.

Artist cocktail reception with Robert Whitman, Wednesday June 7 from 7pm-10pm  
Tickets $20 (proceeds benefit Angels At Risk)
Hors d'oeuvres provided by Beverly Crescent Hotel


In 1977, a local musician named Prince Rogers Nelson came to the attention of Minneapolis music  producer Owen Husney and his partner Gary Levinson. Upon hearing his music, Husney immediately signed the 19 year old to a management contract and set secure a record deal for the young musician.
 
To entice photographer Robert Whitman to take photographs of Prince for a press kit aimed at potential record companies, Levinson came by Whitman’s apartment and played him one song on his car stereo… an early version of “Soft and Wet”. Husney and Levinson then booked Prince into the Sound 80 Studios to work on recording a demo and Whitman came on board to make photographs of this young artist, who would one day become one of the most important musicians of the 20th century.

These photographs were created during three separate photoshoots that Whitman made of Prince during 1977. Whitman photographed Prince in his Minneapolis studio, Owen Husney’s Linden Hills Boulevard home and on the street of downtown Minneapolis, including in front of the mural of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, painted on the side of the Schmitt’s Music store. Only 15 copies of the press kit were ever produced and otherwise, the photographs from these session have rarely been seen.
 
These photographs are new, never-before-seen selects made by the photographer in 2013 from the three shoots taken in 1977. These pictures, Prince’s first with a professional photographer, mark an instrumental moment in his career. The creation of the style and persona that has come to define the artist know as PRINCE.

Signed Silver Gelatin Fine art prints will be available for sale.