I’ve had a forty-year love affair with the parrot tulip. There are a few moments when I meet someone or discover something in nature when a connection is established that lasts a lifetime. I’ve been blessed with a few of these moments, the first time I saw Patti’s eyes, she’s been my wife for 45 years. The moment I looked into Layla’s face in the delivery room, 26 years later I am still in love with my daughter. Then there’s the parrot tulip.
The first time I saw a parrot tulip was forty years ago while walking in the rain along Madison Avenue in New York City. A corner flower shop had a funnel-shaped galvanized bucket full of parrot tulips among the flowers on display. Even now I remember the response I had, it was mainly wonderment. Looking at the tulip was like looking at a flame painted into a flower.
A few years ago I had a florist importer order direct from Holland two dozen parrot tulips. They were delivered every Monday during their blooming period. I would take them into my studio, study them and make new visual discoveries each week. The first image with the black background is an image from one of those sessions.
Earlier this year while walking in the rain along 29th street near my apartment in New York City I came upon two parrot tulips. There were growing within a metal enclosure around a Ginko tree. I got down low to take a closer look when I noticed the taxis heading westbound on 29th street. The image of that moment is the second one in this post.
To see more images visit: Eastep Image Archive