This Prince / High Priest of Pop Art Outsiders Giclee on Canvas by Tennessee Loveless captures the life of a consummate musician and inspiring cultural icon.
Prince comes by his name honestly. He was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7th, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coming from a musical family, with a father who was a musician and a jazz singer mother, he was named after his father’s stage name, Prince Rogers. He inherited his parents’ talent, teaching himself to play the piano, guitar and drums as a young child. He ran away from home after his parents split, and moved in with neighbors. He started his first band in high school with later producer Andre Anderson and Morris Day, of The Time.
He signed with Warner Brothers at age 20, and quickly released his debut album For You and Prince. He saw a meteoric rise as a star, with the famed album Controversy and 1999 coming out in 1981 and 1982, respectively. He went on to work on the classic Purple Rain with his band Revolution. He starred in the movie of the same name, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The world had come to embrace and celebrate his unique brand of synth, funk and rock in which he defied category, especially as a man of color. He also became known as a fashion and culture icon, always appearing in flamboyant hues of purple, flowing jackets, and renaissance-influenced attire.
As a musician, he was and is a huge influence. He was a consummate instrumentalist, often playing most or all of those used on his albums. He was very serious about his craft, and modeled himself in that respect after Jimi Hendrix, who practiced many hours a day to hone his skills. He changed and morphed his style with every release, evolving and expanding his exploration of spiritual subject matter, sexuality, gender norms, religion, politics, and pop culture. He was also a passionate collaborator, working across the spectrum of musical styles, and with artists like Sinead O’Connor, Tom Jones, Chaka Khan, Kate Bush, and Alicia Keys.
He was also very controversial throughout his career and life. As a statement about the control labels attempted to wield with the artists they saw as cash cows, he changed his name to an unpronounceable mix of the male and female astrological symbols, and became known as “the artist formerly known as Prince” He also often appeared in person with the word “SLAVE” drawn on the side of his face in a reference to the way labels used their artists.
In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has won an Oscar, eight Grammys, a Lifetime Achievement Award from BET, among many other accolades.
In his personal life, he was extremely private, often staying away from the limelight when not onstage at his compound Paisley Park. When he became a Jehovah’s Witness his music was significantly influenced, as he felt the sexual explicitness of his songs was inappropriate. Prince was definitely conflicted about his place in the world, especially after he began his struggle with pain management due to a hip injury. Physical pain plagued him for a large part of his later life, and he became addicted to medication. He ultimately died on April 21, 2016, after an accidental overdose of self-administered fentanyl, a synthetic opiate. This news was only released weeks after his death, but he had been hospitalized a week prior, purportedly for a severe case of the flu. On the night of his death, thousands of mourners collected in downtown Minneapolis to sing “Purple Rain”.
ABOUT TENNESSEE LOVELESS:
Tennessee Loveless is an artist who passionately delves into the subjects that speak to him, and has been increasingly noticed and well-received for doing so, skyrocketing in success and notoriety in only a few years. He’s been tailoring how he expresses his unique voice through a number of passion projects, which fortunately have been embraced by collectors around the world. Though he chooses Chicago as his home, he’s lived and created around the world, including Paris, Berlin, and LA. He started of his career painting drag queens in San Francisco, worked at Disney in licensing and production development, and moved on to become an official Disney interpretive artist. He is now building a variety of unique collections, including his Drag Landscapes and The Art Outsiders, and now the American Flag series. He is severely colorblind, but that hasn’t stopped him. In fact, it has led him to a visual style based in color psychology and layered with meaning. He is grateful knowing what some would see as an impediment has offered him a unique, artistic way of viewing the world. Find him at tennesseeloveless.com and artoutsiders.net, and all his available art for sale at artinsights.com