Monday, March 11, 2013

Take a Cruise with Peter Max


Pictured: Peter Max and Ringo Starr

Peter Max Loves What He Does

By Skip Sheffield

You could say Peter Max is lucky in life. He is America’s most popular and successful artist, and has been since the 1960s. He regularly meets celebrities, presidents, royalty and of course ordinary people who adore him. Yes, you could say Peter Max is lucky, but there is more to it than that. Peter Max loves what he is doing, and that love comes back through what he does.
“I never think of making a living (by painting),’ Max said recently from his studio in New York City. “It is my joy, my power in the studio. My wife, my home, our kitty cats all inspire me. I draw at home after I have left the studio. I look around me and all the things I have done, and I see it as my love affair with the world.”
Max is bringing his “love affair” to South Florida for his annual visit. He will be at Wentworth Gallery, 819 E. Las Olas Blvd., from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 16 and the Wentworth Galley at Town Center, Boca Raton, 6 to 9 p.m. March 16. Both events are free and open to the public.
It seems that every year Max does something bigger and more spectacular to stretch the boundaries of his art. This year it is Max’s largest “canvas” yet: Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, “Breakaway.” Decorating the massive 40,000 square feet of hull are Peter Max’s bright, fanciful designs. When it is completed in May, Breakaway will be the largest ship to home port in New York City year-round. Max will not personally be painting the $1.2 billion-dollar ship, but he is supervising a crew of 100 artists hand-applying the paint of his designs.
Max painted a piano for his friend Ringo Starr in 2005. It was auctioned at the Grammy Awards’ MusiCares event honoring Sir Paul McCartney in 2012. It earned the highest live auction winning bid in MusiCares’ 22-year history.
Max, termed a “Neo-Fauvist,” Abstract Impressionist and above all Pop Icon, has had the honor of painting all of the last seven presidents of the United States. More recently he painted country-pop sensation Taylor Swift. Posters of the painting sold-out on her web site.
Max never rests on his laurels. He is probably the most personable artist in America. He loves meeting his fans and collectors. He is like a rock star, only more accessible.
“It’s hard to keep up with everything,” Max admits. “I do yoga, I walk everywhere and I am on a very good vegan diet. I weigh 136 pounds. I owe a lot to my wife Mary, who I think is one of the most beautiful women in the world. I first saw her 15-and-a-half years ago, and I said to my friend Chuckie, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’ Chuckie didn’t believe me. Two months later, I married her.”
The information number for Wentworth Boca Raton is 561-338-0804. The Fort Lauderdale location is 954-468-0685.

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