Parrot, along with Red Sails and Highball on the Redball Manifest, belongs to a group of symbolic family portraits. Parrot is a portrait of an uncle who lived with Indiana’s maternal grandparents and had a parrot that would perch on his shoulder. The text “EYPHKA” is the closest Indiana could come, using his stencils, to the Greek version of “Eureka,” meaning “I found it.” In a May 3, 1984, lecture the artist gave in conjunction with the Wood Works exhibition at the National Museum of American Art, he explained his choice of word was due to the fact that most of his early work was comprised of found objects
Parrot is one of Indiana’s limited number of acrylic paintings. In a letter to his German gallerist, Alfred Schmela, dated December 31, 1967, Indiana mentions that due to time constraints that year he turned to acrylic for this work and The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson. Although he notes there was no loss in quality and satisfaction, and having become comfortable with the medium and its qualities, he only went on to paint a few more works in the medium.