Travelers through the Prince Street subway station in Manhattan yesterday may have looked twice at its signage that was temporarily transformed into a memorial for the late Prince. The mosaic on the Brooklyn bound platform had a sticker of a tiled RIP pasted over the “St” for the musician who died yesterday at the age of 57, and two circles in purple framed a “P” and his “Love Symbol” alongside the MTA’s entrance at Prince Street and Broadway.
While the above ground circles had vanished by the evening commute, the mosaic remained altered, and TV media cruised by with cameras while people aimed their camera phones from across the station. Later in the night, an image of Prince’s face appeared at the entrance alongside the station name.
Like the tag that temporarily altered Bowery into “David Bowery” after the fellow music icon’s death this year, the Prince tributes are a sweet, subtle way of creating an ephemeral memorial when there’s a public need for mourning. No one has come forward to claim their creation, but the station was a natural fit for a tribute.
And the actions this week celebrating Prince’s memory continue. Tom Sachs shared on Instagram that tomorrow at the Brooklyn Museum, his Boombox Retrospective will play only Prince tracks (including those he authored apparently, with the preview below including “Nothing Compares 2 U”). And according to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), tomorrow their “Rain Room” will have purple rain in its storm. Almost as good as purifying yourself in Lake Minnetonka.