When I began the series "Tulipīs Madness" I had been absent from New York for seven years. I did not paint during that time in Barcelona. I wrote two books
published by Editorial Planeta (1997) and Editorial Anagrama (1998). Upon my return to New York , in 2004, I once again felt the impulse to paint. It was the first time in many years that I wanted to paint in color. And the subject was a flower, a subject, like my previous series with the same populist, and kitsch associations.
In Amsterdam in 1623, the tulip became the most famous and expensive flower in the world. As a poor substitute of the real thing, artists painted it. The magic of greed
transformed the flower into the hottest of financial commodities. In 1637 the tulip market crashed. The speculation in tulip futures left a spectacular trail of fortunes and bankruptcies. After this madness the tulip became a flower again, untainted by its past use as a financial tool.
The immediacy of digital photography encourages the manipulation of color. It has a "natural" disposition to exagerate cold and hot, opacity and transparency. On the screen the tulip can go from red to blue, to bluer and back. In a split second the photograph becomes a painting.
After the photographic stage I painted the tulip from memory: small canvases which enphasized the abstract elements of a very familiar form. In the third stage, a much larger format was used to allow for a less restricted gesture. In these paintings the tulipīs appearance is lost to an abstract combination of its organic, and optical aspects. The process or painterly evolution is the actual subject of this series.