Pop art can be considered to be the most popular artistic development that took place in the 20th century. This movement emerged as a reaction to popular culture, mass media, as well as consumerism. Over the decades, many pop artists made their mark in the word of art; Peter Max is one of them. He is a German artist who is quite famous for his very distinctive and unique brand of rainbow-hued paintings and prints, which he has been creating since the early 1960s itself.
The pop-art movement is known to have surfaced sometime in the 1950s, and gained incredible momentum throughout the sixties. Peter Max joined this field sometime during this time itself, where the popularity of pop art was at an all time high. By 1970, a number of products and posters made by Max were featured in the exhibition opened at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, and was called the “The World of Peter Max.” The United States Postal Service subsequently went on to commission him to crate ten-cent stamps for the purpose of commemorating the Expo ’74 World’s Fair which was held in Spokane, Washington. For this stamp, Max created a colourful psychedelic scene featuring a gorgeous backdrop of sun rays, clouds, and a ship. In 1976 he went on to start his Statue of Liberty series, which become quite famous.
Over the last few decades, Peter Max has been the official artist of a number of important and famous events, this includes the Super Bowl, 1994 World Cup, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and even the Grammy Awards. He even was the official artist of the “Subway Series” held between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees that was conducted as a part of the 2000 World Series.
The art work created by Peter Max was traditionally associated with psychedelic movements, as well as counter-culture, neo-expressionism movement that took place in the domain of graphic designing sometime during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Max is quite popular for making use of bursts of vibrant colours in his work, which often contains the majority or even all of the colours present on the visible spectrum. He has used numerous mediums in order to truly portray his creativity and excellence, including:
- Etchings (including aquatint)
- Print making
- Video and digital imagery
He also refers to mass media as being just another canvas that he uses for expressing his creative talents in the best possible fashion. Peter Max is known to commonly use various American symbols and icons for his artwork. He has created paintings of multiple presidents of the United States, as well as of various other celebrities and athletes. He focuses on people are objects that are well known to people, and hence are largely influenced by the popular culture for his work. The colourful and vibrant nature of his work is their biggest highlights.