OCTOBER 18, ON THIS DAY
\”My life\’s journey has been an odyssey through time and space, filled with vivid moments, abundant with color, dazzling with sights, and vibrant with euphonic sounds. These moments collectively create my story, not only of who I was but also of who I was to become – an artist living in New York City, where I have been fortunate to reach a global audience with my art and philosophy.\”
– Peter Max
Peter Max is a German-born American artist known for his distinctive line of vibrantly coloured prints and paintings. His artworks use impressionistic strokes and a wide range of hues and patterns, as shown in his Umbrella Man series. Along with his display of multiple portraits called \”100 Clintons,\” the artist also painted portraits of other American presidents such as Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush. He is the creator of advertisements for a number of well-known companies, including Chrysler and 7-Up.
Peter Max was born on October 19, 1937, in Berlin, Germany. He is the son of Salla Finkelstein and Jacob Finkelstein. The family moved to Shanghai, China, where they lived for ten years after leaving Berlin in 1938 to escape the rising Nazi movement. They relocated to Israel in 1948. The family departed for America in the first half of the 1950s. With a strong influence from classical Western Art, European Expressionism, American jazz, and China\’s ancient traditional culture, Max\’s work have a rich texture and aesthetic identity. Max said, “My art is an expression of myself. My art has to do with where I am and what I’m doing… I’m like a jazz musician, only I play with colours and I love it.”
Max synthesized the \”Summer of Love\” into artworks from canvas to mugs, clocks, scarves, clothes, and cruise ships. A master of Pop Art, he is the official portrait artist for the Statue of Liberty and welcome banners at the U.S. Ports of Entry. His work is an indispensable guide for cultural literacy of the 1960s, and his work commands a large following worldwide and is consistently collected by the art world.
Together with his contemporaries Andy Warhol, Max painted the Statue of Liberty, the Mona Lisa, Mick Jagger, and George Washington using his own distinct technique known as the \”king Technicolor style.\” His paintings demonstrate the impulsive way he uses his brushstrokes to express his emotions as well as the emotions of the general public. His paintings always feature something fresh while staying true to his own established aesthetic and limitations. The core of his approach is constant regardless of the aesthetic he chooses, be it expressionism, psychedelic culture, or mauve painting. The boldly-coloured and vibrant colour techniques of his \”Cosmic \’60s\” style are recognizable around the world.
Peter Max became famous for his works, featuring elements of psychedelic art and pop art. He also served as the official artist for the United States Olympic Team at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Max cares passionately about the environment and human rights and has designed and dedicated paintings and posters to increase international awareness of these causes. Peter\’s works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.