Take a Trip… with the Psychedelic Art of Peter Max

By: Jessie Gillan

March 18, 2020

Peter Max - His Birthday Painting 1976

In the past few months Peter Max has been making headlines around the world, with the sad news of his dementia, family issues and the suicide of his wife after some of these articles gained popularity.

His Birthday Acrylic Painting by Peter Max from 1976

It seemed important to us at RoGallery to highlight the bright psychedelic days of Peter Max with all of this darkness in the news. Peter Max was born in 1937 in Germany, lived in both China and Israel as a child and gained prominence in the late 1960s with vibrant images of love and peace, translating the hippie movement to paper with posters anyone could hang in their room. In September 1969, he was featured on the cover of LIFE Magazine with the article ‘Poster Artist Peter Max is Making His Mark Just About Everywhere.’

His popularity flourished in the 1970s, with continued works in the psychedelic spectrum with surreal bright portraits swirling in landscapes with birds and spiritual guides being primary themes.  As seen in this featured painting available a man appears to be meditating in the center while two spiritual figures float above. In 1976 Peter Max teamed up with Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca to aid in fundraising the restoration costs of the Statue of Liberty and began a series of artworks that included the Statue of Liberty, which he could see out of the window from his apartment in New York City. In the 1980s, his works started to blend more with the aesthetic of that period using more pastel colors and focus on fashion and flowers. In the 1990s he had established himself as a pop artist, blending the worlds of pop art portraiture with portraits of Bill Clinton, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Mandela and oh so many more using psychedelic colors and themes of his earlier well known works.

Peter Max Life Magazine Cover, 1969

Peter Max made psychedelic pop art accessible by being a commercial artist who was smart about advertising and corporate sponsorships. The style is now an iconic style and quite fun, at RoGallery we have a selection of over 300 artworks by the artist including original paintings, prints, posters, collectibles, watches and home décor items spanning his career.

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