The Iris: The Rainbow Flower

Josh Westrich, Author Thames & Hudson $40 (0p) ISBN 978-0-500-54155-5
``Sometimes it is rewarding to peek into places not intended for general viewing.'' German photographer Westrich here peeks to his heart's content at the pastel petticoats and downy viscera of the iris. ``Ah, here is the haunting, misty ectoplasm floating through eerie corridors of evil decor, fungal growths and mystical movements,'' interjects Hager, literary sidekick. Scanning history and culture, he also provides ample botanical and cultural information. But the irises themselves--from ``Dusky Dancer'' to ``Lovely Kay''--steal the show. Half Rorschach blot, half haute couture fantasy, they play the role of romantic-minded libertines, as in Westrich's photograph of the ``Playgirl'' variety. Fluffy and pearly, this iris resembles the tousled bouffant of a centerfold, circa 1965--one almost expects the caption to read, ``Loves puppies and walks in the rain.'' And for floral oglers on the cutting edge, `` `Space Age' irises are particularly appreciated for their extra appendages which rise up from the ends of the beards and give them the air of communication satellites.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 978-0-517-08539-4
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