Artist Of The Week: Peter Max Part 1
Peter Max (b. 1937) is a German-American artist whose style is influenced by many art movement from the modern era like Expressionism, Cubism, and Fauvism. He uses a variety of mediums including oils, acrylics, collage, sculpture and more!.
Max’s earliest influence was his mother Salla, who left art supplies in different areas of the house to practice his artistic skills, before moving to China. Max’s childhood in Shanghai, China was another early source of inspiration for him. He lived near a Buddhist monastery, where he heard daily prayers and saw monks write Chinese calligraphy on rice paper. His pursuit of art continued in the late 1940s, when Max moved to Israel. That’s where he studied with Expressionist Professor Honik, learning the art techniques of Fauvism. He learned from examples of oils paintings by artists like Henri Matisse and Max Beckmann. Max also became fascinated with astronomy, when he visited the Mount Carmel Observatory, which remains l a passion of his till this day. When he lived in Paris, he studied Realism and Classical Art. Because of his interest in self-expression, he took classes at the Louvre. He was especially influenced by French Realist artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
Max moved to the United States in the early 60s, his formal studies in art began under the wing of Frank Reilly, a realist artist. He was devoted to Realist art that he studied from the morning to evening daily. He studied techniques from artists like Rembrandt. After leaving school, he looked for galleries to expose his work. An art director for a record company discovered Max. He was hired to design an album cover for the late Meade Lux Lewis, a blues piano player. This record album won a Society of Illustrators award, which led him to other commissions.
Collage, the poster revolution and the Cosmic 60s become significant times in his career as an artist. Eventually American Pop Culture becomes the most important source of inspiration.
To be continued…
Flora Habbab, BFA
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