Park West Gallery Features Collection of Artist Peter Max

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Park West Gallery Artist Biography series invites the public into the vibrant repertoire of contemporary artist, Peter Max.

Park West Gallery Artist Biography series invites the public into the vibrant repertoire of contemporary artist, Peter Max. From a visionary pop artist of the 1960's to a master of neo-expressionism to a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights, Max has solidified his role as part of contemporary American culture.
Raised in Shanghai, China for the first ten years of his life, the rich culture, the magic and adventure had a profound influence on Peter Max. His early residences included a pagoda-style house situated amidst a Buddhist monastery, a Sikh temple and a Viennese café. Max enrolled in art school when his family spent a short time in Paris in 1953. Six months later, at age 16, he arrived in America. After completing high school, he enrolled at the prestigious Art Student's League in Manhattan, New York. It was here in America where the realization of Max's artistic dreams would emerge.

Following his school education, Max explored the new trends of commercial and graphic arts as well as photography. Says Max, "If I didn't choose art, I would have become an astronomer… I became fascinated with the vast distances in space as well as the vast world within the atom… At first I couldn't comprehend space, but I thought about it all the time, dreaming, imagining, letting my mind soar. After a while, understanding came to me, not in a scientific way but through some inner sense…comprehending in some fantastic way vistas so immense they could never be seen with the eyes." This mentality is reflected in Max's Cosmic 60's art, the style that would catapult him into fame and fortune. He was on numerous magazine covers, including "Life Magazine" and even appeared on national television.

In the 70's Max retreated somewhat and it was during that time when he developed his famed personal iconography. Using a mixture of spontaneous brushstrokes, bright colors, Max used his expressionistic style to create his pictorial language featuring Angels, Umbrella Man, Degas Man, Lady Profiles, and patriotic images of Liberty Head and the American Flag.

Max has been involved in numerous commissions including; U.S. Border murals; the first 10 cent U.S. postage stamp; projects for the Federal Energy Commission; "Peter Max Paints America," a book commemorating America's July 4, 1976 bicentennial; the painting of six Liberties on the White House lawn (1982); "Peace Accord," a painting for the White House to commemorate the historic signing (1994); posters for the Grammy Awards; and the redesigning of NBC television's symbolic peacock.

Max was named the official artist for 5 Super Bowls, the World Cup USA, The U.S. Tennis Open, and the NHL all-star game. He also created six poster images in response to the September 11th attacks, the proceeds of which were donated to the September 11th, Twin Towers, and Survivors relief funds and a portion of funds from his 2005 Katrina Relief Fund benefited the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund.

Park West Gallery of Michigan founded in 1969 are America's largest art dealer, selling more individual artworks than any other art dealer in the United States. Since 1980, the company has occupied its own 63,000 sq ft art gallery and in 2002, Park West built a 181,000 sq ft distribution center and gallery in Miami Lakes, Florida. Park West Gallery conducts auctions across North America in fine hotels and maintains an active catalog and internet sales business. Park West Gallery is also the largest art dealer conducting auctions at sea and currently conducts auctions on more than 60 ships for the following cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Lines; Celebrity Cruises Inc.; Disney Cruise Line; Holland America Line; Radisson Seven Seas Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Windstar Cruises.

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