This past weekend Mary Jane and I had the profound pleasure of meeting the incomparable artist, Peter Max.
I grew up in the 1960s surrounded by the art of Peter Max. His art was on notebooks, buttons, magazine covers, and innumerable other items.
‘In 1938, Max’s parents fled Berlin, Germany, his place of birth, to escape the fomenting Nazi movement, settling in Shanghai, China, where they lived for the next ten years. In 1948, the family moved to Haifa, Israel where they lived for several years. From Israel, the family continued moving westward and stopped in Paris for several months, an experience that Max said greatly influenced his appreciation for art,’ according to Wikipedia.
“Max appeared on the Tonight Show on August 15, 1968. He was featured on the cover of Life magazine’s September 5, 1969, edition under the heading. ‘Peter Max: Portrait of the artist as a very rich man,” according to Wikipedia.
Jimi Hendrix slept on PeterMax’s couch.
Andy Warhol and Peter Max were contemporaries and friends.
Peter Max invited Satchidananda Saraswati to New York for a short visit, that resulted in a permanent residence for Saraswati and the genisis that brought Yoga to the United States.
Peter Max has been the official artist for; 1994 World Cup, the Grammy Awards, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Super Bowl.
In the 1980s Peter Max was instrumental in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.
‘Peter Max created 356 portrait paintings of the firefighters who perished in the September 11 terorrist attacks. Each painting was presented to the surviving families of the firefighters at a ceremony at Madison Square Garden,’ according to Parkwestgallery.com.
We first saw Mr. Max Saturday evening, setting in the lounge of the Hotel that the Art Show was being held. He appeared to be enjoying the live jazz music that was being performed…and was tapping is fingers on the table to the rhythmic jazz tempo.
The next morning Peter Max greeted the assembled group of one hundred and fifty people, as we gave him a lengthy standing ovation…he seemed so happy in the moment…and continued to blow kisses to us.
He signed a complimentary book, about his life, for each of us…and we had our photo taken with him.
Peter Max emanated a peaceful spirit of tranquility and love…and the humility of greatness.