Photographed by Norman Seeff in the glamorous poverty of their Chelsea Hotel room, 1969
“I met Patti and Robert at Max’s Kansas City, a now infamous downtown bar where artists and musicians hung out. We hit it off immediately. I found them fascinating and they agreed to do a session with me. I was staying with some friends in an apartment on W. 72nd street and I photographed them in the kitchen and in the small studio we’d set up in the living room.
Robert told me he was a graphic artist and wanted to airbrush one of my images- I knew almost nothing about Patti or what she did. I never really thought these images would go anywhere, other than to build my New York portfolio, but their exchanges were a beautiful, loving thing to capture.
Two or three weeks after the session Robert came back with a couple of my photographs and I was stunned at how gorgeous his airbrush work was. There was something about what he did that was incredibly hip. At the same time he asked me if he could come to my sessions and often he would come and watch me take photographs.
I had no way of knowing the cultural impact that they would both later have. After Robert’s death Patti told me that these shots come closest to her remembrance of the profundity of the love between them.”