Peter Max (born October 19, 1937) is an American pop artist.
Max was born as Peter Finkelstein in Berlin, Germany, and was raised in Shanghai, China, and in Israel before his family settled in the United States in 1953.
The young artist trained in New York at the Art Students League, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts. After completing his studies, Peter Max opened a design studio and gained success as a designer for books, posters and products. Max closed his studio in 1964 and began making his signature colorful silkscreens. Max's work played significant role on making Indian mural paintings.
Max's art work was a part of the psychedelic movement in graphic design. His work was influential and much imitated in advertising design in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Peter Max later evolved from a pop artist of the 1960s to neo-expressionism.
He works with multiple media, including oil, acrylics, water colors, fingerpaints, dyes, pastels, charcoal, pen, multi-colored pencils, etchings, engravings, animation cels, lithographs, serigraphs, ceramics, sculpture, collage, video, xerox, fax, and computer graphics. He also includes mass media as a "canvas" for his creative expression.
Max often uses American symbols in his artwork and has done paintings and projects for Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush. Recently he created his 100 Clintons, a multiple portrait installation whose images were used through the four days of the Presidential inauguration. More recently, Max completed his fourth Grammy-Award poster, redesigned NBC television's symbolic peacock, was appointed as the official artist for the World Cup USA 1994 and created a "Peace Accord" painting for the White House to commemorate a historic signing.
One of Continental Airlines' Boeing 777 aircraft (registered N77014) sports a special livery designed by Max.
His artwork is currently on the walls of CBS's morning show, "The Early Show."
Max owns a collection of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes, dating from 1956 to 1989, one for each year.
Peter Max is an environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights.
Peter Max was in the news in 2002 when he oppered to provide a life of green fields for Cinci Freedom, a cow that escaped from an Ohio slaughterhouse. The cow leapt over a six-foot fence while the slaughterhouse workers were on break and eluded capture for eleven days. "This little girl's will—facing the end of her life, being so frightened, then taking the risk of all risks to live, to be free—touched me so deeply," Max was quoted as saying, "It was so inspiring. I knew I had to try to preserve that wonderful spirit." Max donated $180,000 worth of his art to benefit the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to ensure her a long life of peace at a New York Farm Sanctuary.