On an early morning, as one walks up to The Junction at Monroe, a live music venue one block east of FAMU’s campus, the walkway leading to the entrance appears almost abandoned with no one entering or exiting. The venue is mostly a nighttime attraction.
To the right of this walkway, however, is a painting on the wall. The painting is a portrait of the late music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, popularly known as Prince. The painting was completed by Kollet Hardeman, who owns Kollet Originals in Tallahassee, in July 2018.
Prince signed his first record deal in 1978. Throughout the scope of his career, he created more than 30 albums and won seven Grammy Awards.
It is fitting that the painting is located at a local live music venue. Prince was arguably one of the greatest live performers of all time. Outside of his singing, he could play 27 instruments and was known as a talented dancer.
The painting shows Prince’s face surrounded by green plants. Falling on the plants are raindrops. These raindrops, unlike the ones seen in the environment, are purple. This is Hardeman’s way of referencing some of Prince’s most notable work.
The purple raindrops are a reference to the film, “Purple Rain.” Prince starred in this movie in 1984 and it was his acting debut. The film showcases Prince’s talent and has a soundtrack with the same name.
“Purple Rain” is a project that many people recognize Prince by. The song, “Purple Rain,” was used in tributes to the musician following his death at age 57 in 2016.
The painting also represents Prince’s appearance in a realistic way. It has recognizable Prince features like his styled hair, the eyeliner he wore, and his mustache. Hardeman also included details like the mole that was located on the left side of his face.
The bottom right corner has Hardeman’s signature in white. It is just large enough to notice, not taking away from the main subject: Prince.
It is safe to say that Hardeman is a fan of Prince. Her Instagram page includes pictures of other paintings she did of the music icon on canvas.
More of Hardeman’s work can be found on Instagram @kollet_originals. Hardeman also has a TikTok account, which is @kollethardeman. The Junction at Monroe, home of the mural, is located at 2011 South Monroe St.