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Paul Foster Johnson: If experimental poetry were a Prince song it would be this one. This ballad has no verse and no chorus, but uses a meandering vocal line to tell the fragmented story of an affair with a witty waitress called “Dorothy Parker.” The vocals and the drums propel the track forward and push the watery keyboards and synth bass into the background. It’s a pared-down sound for a song about nerds flirting awkwardly. Dorothy makes fun of Prince for ordering fruit cocktail, insists on taking communal baths with their pants on, and sings along with Joni Mitchell on the radio. For his part, Prince thinks of his encounter with Dorothy as an escape from his purple rainy baggage, and learns to self-sooth by re-enacting the bathing-with-pants-on scene until “all the fighting stopped.” Their quirky romance is embalmed in the coolness of Prince’s minimal funk.
For here we see a designer for whom Surrealism, the fantastic and the ludic are never far away … and for whom the letterform is just one vital element (or set of elements) and not necessarily always the most important, in a field of communicative resources that includes every kind of made, found or photographic pictorial device.
An appreciation of the work of influential French book designer Pierre Faucheux.