Peter Max has made quite a name for himself in today’s modern art world. His bright Pop Art style has been turning heads since his 1965 cover photo for LIFE Magazine. Max’s history is as colorful as his painting them selves. Here are 10 fun facts about this unique artist and illustrator:

1. While Peter Max was born in Germany, his parents took him from his birthplace and moved him to Shanghai, China to escape from the Holocaust. He spent the first 10 years of his life there, living in a pagoda-style house that was situated amongst a Buddhist monastery, a Sikh temple, and many Viennese Cafes.

2. If Peter Max had a second career choice he would be an Astronomer. “If i didn’t choose art, I would have become an astronomer… I became fascinated with the vast distances in space as well as the vast world within the atom.”

3. Max was commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to create the first 40 cent stamp. Additionally, his artwork entitled “Preserve the Environment” was used for the first 10 cent U.S. postage stamp.

4. On July 4th, 1976 Max began his annual July 4th tradition of painting a large portrait of the Statue of Liberty, this is still a custom that he continues to this day.

5. During the 1980’s Max was very personally impacted by working backstage at the Live Aid concert. He was so inspired by this cause he quickly began a series of works call the Better World series. The painting called “I love the World” depicts an angel embracing the planet.

6. Max has had the honor of painting six U.S. Presidents portraits (Carter, Ford, Bush, Reagan, Clinton and Obama) along with many other commissions for the White House.

7. In 1990 Max bought a collection of 36 Corvettes dating from 1956 to 1986, one for each year they were made. The entire collection cost Max about $0.5M. He intended to paint them all with his signature colors but never finished the project.

8. For the U.N.’s 50th anniversary, Max created a series of fifty paintings in many bright color combinations of the landmark United Nation Building.

9. Max was the official artist for The 31st annual Grammy Awards.

10. Here at Baterbys Art Gallery we carry over 100 of Peter Max’s most unique and famous art works. Join us for our Peter Max event on October 11, 2013 from 6-9 pm and get to see these and many other Max works up close and personal. Even take one home with you and hang a piece of history in your home or office! Part of sales proceeds will go as a donation to St. Jude Children Research Hospital.

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