Like a lot of folks, I've been playing a lot of Prince, thinking about his music and his art. A few months ago, I got asked to write an essay about class for a forthcoming anthology, which also ended up being a meditation on style. I don't think I'm giving too much away if I leave some of it here. I went back to the essay after Prince died. It made me think how his style made a way for so many.
"The word style is cousin to stylus. It comes from the Latin to etch. Or to engrave. And so, style is a way to inscribe oneself upon the world, but also a way to dig, to delve into, to investigate. Style is, then, an inquiry. Style, furthermore, because it is a way to engrave, is also a way to carve a place into some landscape, a hole. That is, style is a way to prepare the earth for the body."