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Picturing Prince: An Intimate Portrait Hardcover – 6 Apr 2017
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Featuring a mix of never-seen-before and rare photographs of Prince, alongside written vignettes about working at Paisley Park with the icon, Steve Parke's book is essential for Prince fans
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PICTURING PRINCE sees the late icon's former art director, STEVE PARKE, revealing stunning intimate photographs of the singer from his time working at Paisley Park. At least half of the images in the book are exclusively published here for the first time; most other images in the book are rare to the public eye.
Alongside these remarkable images are fifty engaging, poignant and often funny written vignettes by Parke, which reveal the very human man behind the reclusive superstar: from shooting hoops to renting out movie theatres at 4am; from midnight requests for camels to meaningful conversations that shed light on Prince as a man and artist.
STEVE PARKE started working with Prince in 1988, after a mutual friend showed Prince some of Steve's photorealistic paintings. He designed everything from album covers and merchandise to sets for Prince's tours and videos. Somewhere in all of this, he became Paisley Park's official art director. He began photographing Prince at the request of the star himself, and continued to do so for the next several years. The images in this book are the arresting result of this collaboration.
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What is included in this pictorial based homage to Prince, are “never-seen-before and rare photographs of Prince”. Each segment has a narrative and pictorials that reveal interesting aspects of a very talented musician and an all-around entertainer. Whether you are a fan or just have a passing interest in Prince, this title makes not only interesting reading but in my case this book offers up a series of visual delights.
Since the “Lovesexy Tour” in the late 1980s, I was blown away by the talent and the pure magic that Prince portrayed on stage. Prince used a number of extravagant props on the moving, multi-tiered stage such as a fountain, trellis fences and a full-scale replica of his Ford Thunderbird car. This was a successful series of concerts, which were mostly sold-out. However, it lost money due to the exorbitant assembly and creation costs – and only made money near the end of its run.
As a photographer, Steve Parke has had clients that have included Prince, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, and the list goes on.
To sum up, a great book that I have no hesitation in recommending
A full five stars.
I loved this glimpse into life at Paisley Park and also Steve's friendship with Prince, which seemed so personal and yet he still revered him as a music idol too. He presented this juxtaposition and the surreal feeling of working for/with him really well in the moments he chose to share with us, the reader.
I had higher hopes for Sheila E's foreword, hoping to catch a glimpse of her time with Prince, but it was very devoid of anything personal, just a summation of how the world felt about his passing.
The only thing I would have liked was an index of the photos with dates & album/location reference. The index in this book seemed very odd to me and not at all fitting with the rest of it.
Having also read 'Prince: A Private View' by Afshin Shahidi just before this one, I see how they complement each other, with Steve's time being before Afshin's.
But I must say there were many tears in my house tonight and much laughter. You have captured Prince's essence in photographs and allowed us to view him in so many new and different ways.
Thank you Steve, this is a book that I will cherish for the rest of my life and it's all thanks to you.
Steve's book shares Prince with his admirers like never before with gorgeous photos (the arboretum ones are faves of mine) and sweet insightful stories of Steve's time spent with Prince. Many books have come out in the wake of Prince's death and I have purchased every one. This one ranks right up there in my top faves! Prince's death was sudden and hit me hard so looking at this book can easily bring a tear to my eye as there are so many photos of Prince staring intently into the lens but then Steve's stories can get a laugh out of you and make you see another side to Prince. This book is a must have for the library of any Prince fam or anyone else who is interested in the music icon. You will not regret buying it and those people that come into your home and see it on your coffee table will know what a cool funky person you are!
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