Seattle-based artist Troy Gua launched the tribute last year, combining his love of the star and his enthusiasm for Thunderbirds-style ‘supermarionation’ puppetry. He created a 1/6 scale model of the star, dressed in handmade “tiny little funky clothes” and shot the model in some of his most iconic poses. The series quickly became an online hit.
But now, the real-life Prince’s representatives have issues Gua with a cease and desist order, demanding that all of the images be removed from the internet by tomorrow (November 16) at 4pm PST.
A saddened Gua revealed the news on the project’s Facebook page. He explained: “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.
The dolls were never for sale, and the images had so far been distributed freely. However, Gua had made plans for a photo book and exhibition, which would ordinarily have been protected by ‘fair use’, as an artist’s interpretation of a pop star. However, he had started selling copies of a Le Petit Prince calendar, to fund potential costs of future endeavours.
Gua had originally written on his website: “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 of piss off my hero, so without the express consent or co-operation 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.”