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Prince - Detroit - 1980 - Paper Edition

RUN #:01493a
Type:Archival Pigment Print on 285gsm Fine Art Platinum Rag Photo Paper
Size:22 x 16 Inches
Release:April 27, 2016
Run of:10
Auth:This RUN is signed, numbered and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Leni Sinclair and 1xRUN.
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Prince - Detroit - 1980 - Cobo Hall
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Note: These purchases are from the extremely limited Artist Proof Edition of 10.

Leni Sinclair is an American photographer and radical political activist who lives in Detroit. Born in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, and raised on a Collective Farm in the former East Germany. She escaped before the Berlin Wall was built, and emigrated to America with the help of relatives and settled in Detroit. While studying geography at Wayne State University in the early 1960s, she helped organize the Detroit Artists Workshop and began documenting the cultural and political history of Detroit with her camera. She soon discovered the thriving Detroit jazz clubs and by mid-decade, she also found herself amidst an explosive “Michigan Rock” scene, working with emerging artists such as the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, and Bob Seger while also serving as part of the lighting crew at the legendary Grande Ballroom. In addition, she was also a co-founder of the White Panther Party alongside her husband John Sinclair and Pun Plamondon. 

For her debut RUN Leni Sinclair has dug into her expansive archives for this iconic photo of none other than Prince, captured at Detroit's Cobo Hall in 1980.

"It was actually a bit of coincidence that I saw Prince at his first concert in Detroit. My daughter was 12 years old and she was a big big Prince fan. So I agreed to take her to the concert and buy the tickets and be the chaperone. It was a magnificent concert. I wasn’t that deep into Prince like my daughter was, but that concert was incredible. I was just fortunate that I had my camera and we must have had some good seats, or maybe I brought my telephoto lens, but either way I got some beautiful pictures.

What impressed me about the band was the guitar playing. Prince was playing with The Revolution, and Dez Dickerson and Prince were playing off each other. They were churning out some guitar duos like I would remember from the MC5’s Wayne Kramer and Fred Smith would get into these dueling solos on the guitar. It was just mind-blowing, it would just take your breath away. That was phenomenal to me. He was a rock musician right from the start. What is unique about this photo was that they had these smoke machines. That gave it such a halo around him. That was pretty unusual, but that made for such a nice composition. That’s just Prince. The naked truth. He was one hell of a musician, and I loved his guitar playing. I think I saw Prince once or twice after that, but my daughter went to every concert that Prince played in Detroit. May he rest in piece. Prince of peace." - Leni Sinclair
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ABOUT Leni Sinclair:
Leni Sinclair was born in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, and raised on a Collective Farm in the former East Germany. She escaped from there before the Berlin Wall was built, and emigrated to America with the help of relatives and settled in Detroit. While studying geography at Wayne State University in the early 1960s, she helped organize the Detroit Artists Workshop and began documenting the cultural and political history of Detroit with her camera. She soon discovered the thriving Detroit jazz clubs and by mid-decade, she also found herself amidst an explosive “Michigan Rock” scene, working with emerging artists such as the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, and Bob Seger while also serving as part of the lighting crew at the legendary Grande Ballroom.

Leni possesses a genuinely iconic collection of photographs documenting the political and cultural transformations taking place in Detroit and Ann Arbor from 1965 to 1975. Her love for music has led Leni to photograph literally thousands of musicians over the subsequent decades, covering jazz, blues, rock, reggae, African music and more. Her photographs have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, and on album and CD covers, both in the U.S. and internationally. In 1984, with author and jazz historian Herb Boyd, she published the Detroit Jazz Who’s Who that features nearly 400 photographs of Detroit-based musicians. In 1995, she moved to New Orleans where she documented hundreds of musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, street parades, and music festivals, including the celebrated New Orleans Jazz Festivals before returning to Detroit in 2000.

In 2009, Leni had her first major museum exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, and since then had exhibitions in Lille, France; in Munich, Germany; and in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as at the Susanne Hilberry Gallery in Ferndale, Michigan in 2014. In 2012, she and the artist Gary Grimshaw co-authored and published Detroit Rocks! A Pictorial History of Motor City Rock and Roll, 1965 to 1975. From Coltrane and Sun Ra to Howlin’ Wolf, Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin, Leni Sinclair’s images present not merely five decades of music photography, but an essential portrait of American culture.
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