Those familiar with Prince's litigious ways probably knew that it was only a matter of time. But folks who like to combine their arts and crafts projects with their love of the Artist and post the results online may want to take note: Prince and his people are not amused.
Last year, Seattle-based artist Troy Gua decided to pay homage to the Purple One by designing a Thunderbirds-style Prince marionette and painstakingly recreating a series of Prince's famous looks by hand. After sharing the fruits of his labor online, the project went viral.
Last Friday, Prince's people told him to knock it off, and requested that he remove all images of the project from his website.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this - I have been issued a cease & desist order from Prince's attorneys. This means that the Le Petit Prince project has reached its untimely end and must be removed from the internet by Friday, November 16, 4pm PST. There are many points touched upon in the order, and I will, of course, comply with their demands, whether I agree with them as matters of artistic freedom or not. I simply do not wish to fight with my hero, and it is terribly disheartening to think that he may hold ill will towards me and this project.In the note, Gua goes on to state that he has attempted to contact Prince and and his people to better explain the project and to defend the claims made in the cease and desist, but has yet to hear back.
Though Le Petit Prince and his items are all one-of-a-kind, Gua did sell a calendar with the doll in iconic Prince poses and at various Minneapolis-esque settings. Gua claims that money made through sales were meager at best, however, and were only used to fund the continuation of the project and to help pay for an exhibition show. Before the cease and desist, Gua wrote from his official website:
What you are seeing is the tip of the iceberg of an extensive art project and photographic series: images of a unique doll in various guises - there is ONLY ONE Le Petit Prince, and he's NOT FOR SALE. As for the possibility of reproduction, I have no intention or desire to break any laws or piss off my hero, so without the express consent and cooperation from Prince himself, I will not be reproducing this artwork in doll form. I would love nothing more than to put Le Petit Prince in the hands of true fans, but without Prince, it can't happen. Prince, if you're out there, I'd love to hear from you.
Unfortunately, it sounds like he did.