The star’s early life explored in limited edition hardback – Prince Pre Fame

WITHIN the urban mise en scène of a mid-‘70s Minneapolis, Minnesota, local musician Prince Rogers Nelson caught the attention of artist managers Owen Husney and Gary Levinson. Rescuing the teen talent from his basement accommodation, the agents had discovered a star who was soon to be recognised purely by his first name.

Once making such a discovery, Levinson idealised photographer Robert Whitman shooting Prince, imagining Whitman could capture the unorthodox, enticing aura of the future musical sensation. Swinging by Whitman’s apartment, Levinson was soon to make his vision a reality. Instantly gripped by the early demo version of Soft and Wet that Levinson played through his car stereo, Whitman was lured in to snapping images of the young artist. Using both street and studio locations, the images later became extremely significant due to their use in the official Warner Bros press kit during the beginning of Prince’s career.

Prefame_whitman_0048Photograph of Prince taken by Robert Whitman in 1977

Collecting together a total of 648 images, 71 works, 18 contact sheets, the original 1977 press brochure, Levinson’s diary entries and a touching tribute written by Spike Lee, the book limited to 1,200 copies compellingly documents Prince’s early style. Presented in a bold flame-red hardback cover and slip case, the publication is not only immersive, but is additionally a statement accessory for the home.

Celebrating 40 years since the historic photo-shoot, the book, signed and numbered by Robert Whitman himself (100 copies in silver gelatin print), holds 200 pages of commentary through imagery which educates the reader on Prince’s creative processes.

Prince Pre-FamePrince Pre Fame hardback book by Robert Whitman.

by Joseph Furness

Prince Pre Fame is available to purchase at Vero

Limited Edition retails at £100

Strictly Limited Edition in Silver Gelatin Print retails at £550

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