Thursday, February 6, 2003
Steamboat Springs If you go to a Peter Max show and don't laugh, you've probably missed the point.
Max has splashed bright colors on everything from canvas to ceramic cows to a Boeing 777 to a 7-foot soda bottle.
"One of the many disciplines I use to stay so prolific is to constantly change the medium I am working with, so I don't get stagnant and tired," Max said in an interview with Red Herring Magazine. "When I paint in acrylics or oils for many, many hours, for example, the stuff begins to feel like yogurt, so I go into another room and do etchings until I get tired of that, then I'll go downstairs and do ceramics."
Now in his 70s, Max is creating as much art, if not more than, he was during his pop art heyday when his work was selling by the thousands through T-shirt, hats and kitschy merchandise. Like most pop artists, Max is fascinated by mass production and global distribution of his work.
As he does every year around this time, Max will be visiting Colorado to represent himself at one-man shows in the Masters Gallery in Vail and the Aspen Grove Fine Arts Gallery in Aspen.
Aspen Grove is one of the largest dealers of Max work in the world, art consultant Ruth Minetree said.
Max will paint 80 to 90 new pieces just for the Aspen show.
"He has a lot of friends here," Minetree said. "This is a very special show for him."
Both galleries will hang work the day of the show and keep it up through April.
The Masters Gallery will be showing classic paintings from Max's popular American flag series and well as his paintings of the Statue of Liberty and some etchings, gallery director Monique Madison said.
Much of his work celebrates American icons and symbols. He has painted five U.S. presidents and countless portraits of the Stature of Liberty.
"He is a really interesting person to meet and talk to," Madison said. "And his work is so colorful and uplifting."
It's worth the drive, she said, because "to me, it's Peter Max the legend. Andy Warhol is not around anymore, but Max is."
His openings are always a lot of fun, she said, with wall to wall people.
Anyone who buys a piece -- priced between $1,800 and $60,000 -- will have it dedicated by the artist with a line drawing on the back.