Honoring the 35th anniversary of Prince’s Purple Rain, we are showcasing three prints from the “Prince Pre Fame” collection and three paintings exclusively created by Tyler Loftis from Robert Whitman’s classic 1977 photographs.
In 1977, local musician Prince Rogers Nelson captured the attention of Minneapolis agent/manager Owen Husney and his partner Gary Levinson. Upon hearing his music, Husney and Levinson signed the 19-year-old musician to a management contract and set out to secure a record deal. To entice Robert Whitman into photographing Prince, Levinson stopped by Whitman’s apartment and played one song on his car stereo—an early demo of “Soft and Wet.” Instantly gripped, Whitman photographed the young artist on the street, in the studio, and even captured rare images of Prince smiling. These photos marked an instrumental moment in his career, helping him establish his singular style and persona and sign with Warner Brothers Records. On June 25, 1984, the Grammy Award winner and his group, The Revolution, released the iconic album Purple Rain.
"When there's blood in the sky – red and blue = purple... purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.” —Prince