Yesterday evening I strolled into the Tampa Museum of Art to absorb the revolutionary artwork of Peter Max, a 20th-century pop culture icon.
Peter Max is most well-known for his vibrant color palette of swirled shapes, featuring iconic figures that influenced America – but the diversity of his work on view at the Tampa Museum of Art was astounding.
From original lithographs and paper collages dated from the 1960’s, to mixed media art of digitally printed canvas with paint swirled on top of them from 2008, Max’s breadth and expanse of work across the decades was exceptional.
“Max’s appeal, along with other enduring American icons Walt Disney and Bob Dylan, spans all national demographics and has done so for generations.” – Malcolm Genet, Art Historian
Something important to note about Max’s work is the subject matter. Max is an environmentalist, vegan, and defender of human and animal rights – which influences his work greatly. A lot of the people he paints are revolutionary in their own right, and have had positive influence on the States and beyond. My personal favorite examples of this were The Dalai Lama, Bob Dylan, Obama, and of course his numerous work for The Beatles.
Max’s unique and refreshing style of work didn’t go unnoticed, either. Whether it’s the art for Woodstock Music Festival and 5 SuperBowls, or designing US Stamps to a Boeing 777, to winning 6 Grammy Awards – Max’s work has influenced generations to embrace culture and to think freely.
“I never know what I’m going to put on the canvas. The canvas paints itself. I’m just the middleman.” – Peter Max
The exhibition is on until September 11, 2016. It’s open until 7pm Mon – Thurs, and 8pm on Fridays.