A exhibition celebrating the legacy and artistry of Prince opens today (Oct. 27) in London at The O2, where the musician played frequently and sold out 21 concerts in 2007. The exhibit, titled “My Name Is Prince,” was initially meant to only run for three weeks, but has been extended until January 7, 2018 due to an overwhelming demand for tickets. It marks the first official Prince exhibition outside Paisley Park, the artist’s private estate and production compound in Chanhassen, Minn., which opened to the public last year following his death.
“The origin of the exhibition was to be able to bring Prince to people who might not ever be able to make it to Paisley Park,” says Angie Marchese, Paisley Park’s Director of Archives and curator of “My Name Is Prince.” “This is their opportunity to get an inside look at what Paisley Park meant to Prince and what Prince meant to the world.”
The exhibit includes numerous items that has never previously been displayed to the public, including his cloud suit from the “Raspberry Beret” video and the diamond-studded cane from Prince’s 2015 tour. The artifacts range from handwritten lyrics to clothing to musical instruments, and focus on the past several decades.
“The really unique thing about Prince’s collection is that he saved almost everything,” Marchese says. “We’ve got items that date back to as early as 1977 from throughout his entire career. Paisley Park has this energy about it that he created where it felt like he could do whatever he wanted to do however he wanted to do it. We looked at the collection and picked the pieces that best helped tell that story. So really this exhibition focuses around the world that Prince created and his artistry. In Prince’s world, a jacket is just not just a jacket and a guitar is not just a guitar.”
The plan is to bring “My Name Is Prince” to other cities in the future, according to Marchese, although there are no specific plans yet announced. Tickets are £25 for adults and £12 for children (as well as an additional booking fee) and are also available in VIP packages, which include a tour with a Paisley Park guide, a backstage experience at The O2, a photo opportunity and access to rarely seen footage.
For Marchese, the exhibition is intended for both die-hard Prince fans as well as casual fans. She wants it to take each visitor back to the moment he or she fell in love with Prince and for everyone to come away having learned something new about his life and artistry. She attributes the early ticket sales to the fact that the artist has such a broad reach around the world.
“It’s about his impact on people’s lives,” Marchese says. “It’s about how they connect with him as an artist, as a person, and how they connect with the music. It’s so unfortunate that he’s not here and people just want to be a part of his world. The goal of any exhibition is to give someone a deeper appreciation and that’s definitely our focus with this exhibit.”
More information and tickets here: http://www.mynameisprince.co.uk