The psychedelic art style of Peter Max is iconic of 60's and 70's American cultureOne of the most famous living artists, known for using bright colors in his work, with the visual arts and culture of a particularly psychedelic style, Peter Max characterized his early work as cosmic, counter culture. The psychedelic style is described as the inspired effect of hallucinations known to follow the ingestion of psychoactive drugs like LSD and psilocybin, trendy at the time.
Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, liquid light shows, liquid light art, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling color patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from the psychedelic states of consciousness. - Wikipedia
He received early recognition in publishing and advertising industries popularizing his work nationally through TV commercials which helped boost sales of posters and other merchandise including the US postage stamp series.
For over 50 years Max is as accomplished with advertising campaigns as he is an artist working with well known brands like 7Up, Chrysler, United States Postal Service, ASEA of Sweden, World Cup, General Electric, Super Bowl, Grammy Awards and Rock and Roll Hall of fame as well as countless album covers. Often called America's painter Laureate, Max is one of the few artists who has had equal success as both fine and commercial artist.
He has exhibited in over 100 museums worldwide, numerous books of his works published and has painted some of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.
He merges his enjoyment and fascination of astronomy with his love for color into a unique approach. Discussing his painting technique, Max says it is most important to be in a mindless state when creating art, and let it emerge on it's own, with no idea of what is to be created, letting the space tell him what to do.
He says his favorite piece is the one he's working on when asked which is his most treasured. At the time of this post, Max is 81 and while he doesn't mind being considered the artist who captured the "Summer of Love" he evolves with the times and his influence now is just as prevalent as it was back then.
Max says he was close friends with the Beatles and clams to have connections with Yellow Submarine, their animated film although the style is very much like his, there is no record of his involvement, something I found surprising as it looks so much like his work, I assumed it was created by him. The film's Art Director, Heinz Edelmann admits to having knowledge of Max's work but found it "Verging on the vulgar" yet clearly influenced by him. Or perhaps they affected each other.