From visionary pop artist of the 1960s, to master of dynamic neo Expressionism, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary American culture. European-born and raised in Shanghai, Tibet, South Africa, Israel and France, Max's pan-cultural background has made his work rich in artistic diversity. From the calligraphy of the Buddhist monks to the Classical statuary in Parisian gardens, Max was inspired by the elegance of the line which gives birth to form. Ranging from American comic book art through the passionate brushstrokes of the European Expressionists and Fauves, Max learned about the magic of color and texture when applied with spontaneity; the brush being guided by the heart.
In the 1960s Max rose to youthful prominence with his now famous Max style, a bold linear type of painting which employed shocking color juxtapositions and depicted transcendental themes. As the Beatles transformed the music of the decade, Peter Max did the same for art. As his expressionistic style evolved, becoming more sensuous and painterly, his unique symbolism and vibrant color palette have continued to inspire new generations of Americans throughout the decades.
Peter Max is a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights. He has created a non-profit foundation called Global Works and often dedicates paintings and posters for these noteworthy causes. He has celebrated our nations principles of freedom and democracy with works that include his famous Liberty paintings and American Flags which he affectionately calls "Flag with a Heart" for a Country with a heart.
In 1974 Max was commissioned to create the first "Preserve the Environment" Postage Stamp commemorating Expo 74 for the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington. In 1976 U.S. General Services selected Max to paint 235 Border Murals at entry points to Canada and Mexico. That same year, to celebrate the Bicentennial, Max created a painting of each of the 50 states, resulting in a book, Peter Max Paints America. On the same occasion Max also began a tradition of painting the Statue of Liberty. Every year since, he celebrates July 4th by painting additional interpretations of the Statue. In 1981 he was invited by President and Mrs. Reagan to paint six Liberty portraits at the White House. Max has painted for five U.S. Presidents - Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton.
In 1989 Max paid homage to Mikhail Gorbachev with his installment, "Forty Gorbys," which was inspired by his trip to Moscow. This led to an important museum tour that started at the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad in the Spring of 1991 and traveled throughout Russia and other Eastern bloc countries as well as Western Europe. In February 1990, Max had two huge sections of the Berlin Wall flown to America and placed on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid. He then carved out a concave dove of peace in the concrete wall and formed a three-dimensional dove in flight from the filings, thus symbolizing the emergence of freedom and hope.
After having worked with the Inaugural Committee on the Presidential Inauguration, for which he created his now famous 100 Clintons' installation, Max was invited by the White House in 1993 to sketch the historic signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord. Later that year, while Max was in Washington to open his Pop to Patriotism exhibition at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, President Clinton, who was in attendance, referred to Peter as a friend and true American Patriot. He has been called upon by many Governmental Institutions to illustrate special projects, including the giant murals which graced the courtyard of the U.S. Pavilion at the Seville World's Fair. The United Nations invited Peter to execute a body of work of twelve postage stamps which became their Official Stamp for the first Environmental Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 1994 Max was designated Official Artist for World Cup USA '94 and was once again named the Official Artist for the Super Bowl and Grammy Awards in 1995, the latter honor being bestowed upon Peter for a record fifth time.
Peter Max is especially in awe and admiration of America for its creativity in music, art and technology. In celebration of America's music, Max was the Official Artist for the 25th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz Festival and opened the Woodstock '94 Festival. Max pays tribute to another great American artist, Walt Disney, with a creative collaboration between Max and Disney resulting in paintings and limited edition serigraphs of Disney's most famous icons.
Max merged art with technology through collaborations with Silicon Graphics (the company that created the computer technology for the special effects in Jurassic Park) and the Information Superhighway for which he has created the official symbol. The National Information Infrastructure (Info Highway) symbol was recently unveiled at a White House press conference by then Vice President Al Gore.
Peter Max, the cosmic artist of the 60s, now has his sights set on the year 2000... and beyond. GALLERY M was proud to be the designated gallery for Peter Max's official release of his 2006 Team USA, Turin Olympic Winter Games poster. This event was held on Friday, October 14 2005 with 14 U.S. Olympians in attendance. Shortly after, Peter introduced his latest body of original works at GALLERY M's three day exhibition called "Colors of a Better World." The receptions saw almost 600 collectors and fans choose and collect his latest original and unique works. Contact GALLERY M for works that are available or to have a special commission created by Peter Max.