His name is Le Petit Prince, and he is funky in a big way despite being about 12 inches tall. He’s the creation of Seattle-based artist Troy Gua, who is a obviously a major Prince fan — at least enough to create a fantastically accurate scale model of The Artist and a ton of props and cool outfits for him.
Le Petit Prince was made in late 2011 to lighten up and redirect the creative path Gua’s art was taking, which he says had gotten cynical. Much of his work has been celebrated and showcased throughout the Seattle area and fuses together a charming pop culture perspective that seems in flux between adoring and skeptical. The Le Petit Prince project has gotten a lot of love from megafans and even a well known hip-hop DJ, and stands out as an intricate homage to the icon.
The Dressing Room tracked Gua down to find out more about this versatile dude (well, both of them, really). It remains to be seen whether the kids will trade up their Barbies for Le Petit Princes in the near future (Short answer: Gua wants a call from Prince for manufacturing permission, stat), but in the meantime here’s 7 questions — a proper Princey number — with The Artist Currently Known as Troy Gua.
What is it about Prince in particular that influenced you?
Prince was introduced to me by my sister right as I was hitting puberty, and I was immediately transfixed by this ultra-sexual, androgynous, other-worldly creature’s equally alien and ambiguous music, message, and indeed his entire aesthetic. He was so confident, so self-assured, so astoundingly talented, so… weird. It was exactly what I, as a skinny, awkward pubescent kid who always felt different, needed – a hero that I could relate to and aspire to be like.
I wasn’t a musician, but I was always an artist, and Prince’s musical virtuosity has always inspired me to be the best I can be at whatever I choose to do artistically. And his eclecticism showed me that I didn’t have to stick to one thing, one style, one type of art – that it was OK to explore as many ideas and ways of expressing myself as I saw fit. And I do. He’s been the single biggest influence on my life and work.
What do you think Prince would think of mini-Prince?
Gosh, I wish I knew. I’d love to think he’d be amused, honored, flattered, and amazed enough to want to arrange a meeting with me.
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