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. I wrote back to the attorneys and told them I would indeed comply, but wanted to address some of the issues brought up in their letter. I’d like to share these paragraphs with you, which contains sentiments that I hold dear and true:
“Any products sold are returning no profit to me - they are simply a meager means to fund and continue the LPP project, which is a work of fine art. And this funding, I would argue, is anything but “ill-gotten gains”. That term pains me, as I do not intend, nor have I ever intended to profit from Prince without his consent. I have, in fact, refused countless pleas to recreate the sculpture and make it available for sale because I felt that that would indeed be attempting to profit illegally. The recreation of album art and iconic imagery, on the other hand, I felt was within my creative rights as an artist. This is artwork that I have made as a loving tribute to an artist that has inspired me for decades, and has shaped the person I have become. And this tribute has grown into something that I never foresaw nor intended - a joyful and positive experience for many, many people around the world. It has, to my utter amazement, brought so much happiness to so many, building a following and a momentum that has demanded it endure and expand.
I have, actually, attempted through modest connections to Mr. Nelson, to contact him to no avail. He is not an easy person to reach out to. I, on the other hand, am very easy to engage, and was actually, perhaps foolishly, hoping for contact from him regarding this project in a much more congenial form. If I had any possible way of reaching Mr. Nelson to ask him his thoughts on this matter or to propose a creative business venture, believe me, I would have. I would love nothing more, and would relish the opportunity to do so, still.”
The words “thank you” could never adequately qualify the truly staggering gratitude I feel towards everyone who fueled the passion for this project with their words of support and praise, with their love and positivity, and with their all around good will. This project grew into what it became because of you. Although I am saddened beyond words that it has reached its end, and that it has ended this way, I am also deeply grateful and happy beyond words that I’ve had this rare opportunity to make so many new friends, to make so many people smile, and to make so many tiny sets of funky clothes.
The LPP Project was about love, admiration, and positivity. It put smiles on many faces around the globe, and I am humbled by the support that LPP's fans have shown as the project is put to bed. Let's remember the smiles and the joy and leave a little memorial for LPP. He may not be able to be shown, but he can certainly be remembered! We had fun, didn't we?
I hope we can continue to be in touch in another corner of this great big universe somewhere. And I hope you had fun. I know I did.
For LPP, Troy Gua signing off...
POSITIVITY PLEASE - ALL LOVE - no hate