Controversy: The Alchemical Marriage of Prince

“Art Official Age,” 2014 photograph by Maya Washington

When we talk about alchemists, we usually picture the old men of European etchings bent over strange-looking tubes and vials, desperately searching for a gleam in the muck around them. The term “magician” will either conjure up a stage illusionist, all tuxedo tails and white rabbits, or bearded men in spangled robes summoning angels from the ether. But in truth, occultists can look like anyone else. Some…