Flower

"The photographs of flowers taken by Andrew Zuckerman are pure. His pictures are elegant. The images, one after another, flow like a dream of dance."

David Lynch, Artist

With a lot of my projects, there’s a preservationist impulse at work. In many ways, I think of the photographs as a kind of record-keeping in a world that’s rapidly being depleted of its natural resources.  By using photography as recording device to create the best possible two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional living things, the images become physical documents. I want to understand how things work, to lay them out in some kind of order, not to change them, but to consider them in a way I can understand. I have a desire to create clarity out of confusion, and investigating the botanical world appealed to this impulse. It’s fascinating that the astonishingly beautiful qualities of the flowers are purely survival mechanisms.  I love that every flower is a dependent half of an ecosystem, and structurally, they evoke their insect counterparts. Very early on in the making of this project, I had the opportunity to photograph the extremely rare Darwin’s star orchid, which was instrumental in Darwin’s formulation of the theory of evolution. He postulated that because of the 11-inch spur extending from its blossom that there had to be an insect with some kind of appendage long enough to pollinate it. No one believed him, but 40 years later entomologists discovered a moth with a furled tongue that was four times longer than its body.

Works

Book

Exhibition

Museum De Moderne Salzburg

The Museum de Moderne exhibited four works from Flower alongside works by Peter Fischli/ David Weiss, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and others in its 2013 Flowers and Mushroomsshow. The exhibit explored the way in which contemporary art adopts and continues the historical and complex pictorial tradition of flowers and mushrooms by adding new, contemporary perspectives.

Nothin' dainty about these flowers. Nope, these guys are pistol-firing, fire cracking blossoms...Bang and they're dead. It's a short, violent life these flowers have. Here's another, this one flushing, throbbing, blushing red until it loses rhythm, loses color and then collapses, like a pair sack

Robert Krulwich, NPR

FILM

Credits

The New York Botanical Garden:
Margaret Falk, Associate Vice President for Living Collections.
Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses.
Peter Kukielski, Curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.
Jon Peter, Plant Records Manager.
Kodai Nakazawa, Specialty Gardener.
Nick Leshi, Associate Director of Public Relations and Electronic Media.
Smithsonian Gardens:
Jonathan Kavalier, Horticulturalist.
Oaksterdam University:
Richard Lee, founder.
Michael Parker, lead horticulture technician.
Book Credits:
Andrew Zuckerman, Photographer.
David Meredith, Designer.
Justin Cohen, Retoucher.
Erika Yorio, Production.
Will Heath, Production.
Elan Moss-Bachrach, Production.
Film Credits:
Andrew Zuckerman, Director, Producer.
Scott Cronan, Editor.
Justin Cohen, Color.
1863, Music.
David Meredith, Design.