The diversity among Peter Max’s art has made him one of the most famous and celebrity modern artists. Max’s highly varied artistic history includes a number of different subject material, mediums, and historical contexts. While Peter Max art runs the gamut, his work has several permanently defining features that help juxtapose his diversity and still give him a signature as an artist. Despite what medium, what time period, and what subject a Max work is from it is easily recognizable for art collectors and art critics alike as a Peter Max piece. This signature has helped him be successful in multiple modes and has yielded his reputation as an extremely diverse artist.
His diversity is perhaps best epitomized by his varying roles as an artist during different time periods. Max began the poster craze of the 1960s. With his psychedelic posters in vibrant colors, he became the father of the countercultural movement of the time. While his early art represented the psyche of the 1960s, his later art would go on take on a much different role within pop culture. Much of Peter Max’s work during the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s was known for its patriotism. The Liberty Head series are among the most famous of All Peter Max paintings. Max’s original art pieces including 44 Obamas and 100 Clintons also demonstrate his art’s new patriotic tone. Perhaps most indicative of his patriotic art were the revolutionary portraits he painted after the September Eleventh attacks of every firefighter who lost their life. It was not only the subject matter that varied through this dramatic change in Peter Max art, but it was also the emphasis. Peter Max’s 1960 psychedelic poster work was focused on the future and space, things larger than himself. His later art of the 1980s and on emphasized more tangible qualities and the way things are in the present. Max’s original art also progressed in medium as he grew as an artist. He combined his print making experience with his painting experience to make a significant contribution of original art known under the “mixed media” category since it combines different artistic mediums into one.
Today, while much of his artwork continues with his patriotic focus, he has also focused on pursuing new interests in his work. As the world’s most notable pop artist, he has stayed true to his name in recent years through original artwork capturing famous people and events. The most famous of these include his paintings of Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson, Shaquille O’Neil, the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and the Superbowl. His interest in World Peace and the environment has been revealed in famous Peter Max art including his famous Without Border and Day Dream.
His artwork has changed dramatically over the course of his dynamic career. However, he has become and remains so famous because no matter how often or how significantly his work changes, it is still always iconic Peter Max. The ability for Max to make his work recognizable has created the artistic identity that he has held. His use of vivid colors, bold yet fluid lines carefully used and spaced apart all give him an artistic style that has outlasted the changes in medium, subject, focus, and time. His subject matter is also always positive, upbeat, and optimistic. Even if what he is painting and how he is panting changes, Peter Max art remains iconic and true to the ever true to the reputation as the pop artist he has become.