It’s been announced that on September 21st a brand new photo exhibition will arrive and chronicle the earlier days of Prince’s illustrious career. The exhibit will be a composition of Prince’s career during the late seventies and early eighties from friend and photographer Allen Beaulieu.
The Prince: Before the Rain exhibit arrives at the Minnesota History Center in the autumn and will feature a total of 50 digital prints of Prince, the Revolution, Morris Day and the Time, as well as a bunch of other Prince affiliates. While the space will be completed with dark walls, purple drapes and even a chandelier to give a nightclub-style feel, the photos on display show a more intimate side of Prince.
The work does offer a sense of candid intimacy but nevertheless is still dominated by Beaulieu’s more extravagant views of the Purple One. Including album cover images for Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, as well as the recent releases Piano & a Microphone 1983 and Originals.
The exhibit largely takes its displays from Beaulieu’s 2018 book of the same name, in which he offers an intimate account of his relationship with Prince alongside some official photographs and revealing outtakes. “The man was beautiful to me. He took me on three tours. I got to see the country. I got to see a rock star. I got to develop a rock star,” Beaulieu wrote in a statement.
The pair’s history goes back a long way after they met in 1978 following Prince seeing the promo poster for Beaulieu’s Shades of Blackness. It was at Prince’s bandmate Andre Cymone’s mother’s home where he saw the image for the fashion show held in downtown Minneapolis.
Their friendship and the working relationship continued until one day Earth, Wind and Fire came around to take the photographer from his Minneapolis roots. But he still kept these moments of Prince as a brilliant, shining example of Prince and the beginning of his incredible journey.