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A Case of You, Paisley Park Studios, 1997 | © Steven Parke
A Case of You, Paisley Park Studios, 1997 | © Steven Parke
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See These Rare Photos of Prince by Steve Parke

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 30 October 2017
Discover the unique creative relationship between photographer and art director Steve Parke and the American singer-songwriter Prince, as Proud Central launch their new London space with Picturing Prince, a collection of Parke’s intimate and rare photographs of the star, to coincide with the photographer’s photobook launch.
Blue, Paisley Park Studios, 2000 | © Steven Parke

The musician who made purple regal again and gave the music world a much needed dose of flamboyance is celebrated in this exhibition of photographs by his in-house photographer, revealing a side of Prince often kept from public view.

Moon in the Mirror, Paisley Park Studios, 1999 | © Steven Parke

Having met in the late 1980s, Prince requested Parke as his official photographer and the two worked together for over 13 years, creating the star’s universal image of ‘gender fluidity and sexual expression.’ Parke, who became a trusted companion of the singer-songwriter, described Prince as a ‘mecca of creativity’.

Both Sides Now, Spain, 1999 | © Steven Parke

‘I knew I was pushing it but I thought the shot would be worth it,’ reminisces Parke about photographing the star in the grounds of his private estate and recording studio, Paisley Park. ‘He stepped back and back and back. I can only imagine he was starting to sink, but he didn’t seem to mind. “That’s great,” I said finally. As I looked through the lens I noticed his demeanour was a world apart from his usual one: he just seemed utterly relaxed and at peace.’

Untitled, Paisley Park Studios, 1999 | © Steven Parke

With an extensive archive of over 500 photographs, from candid backstage shots and album imagery to intimate shots of Prince with his first wife Mayte Garcia and never-before-seen photos, we get a rare insight into the character of a man beloved for his innovative approach to blending funk, pop, R&B and rock.

Just a reflection of Kisses, Spain, 1999 | © Steven Parke
A Case of You copy
A Case of You, Paisley Park Studios, 1997 | © Steven Parke

Picturing Prince: Photographs by Steve Parke will be at Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6BP from November 9 to December 3, 2017.

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