Peter Max


equal-means-equal

I was born in Berlin, but my family moved to China when I was about eight or nine months old. My first 10 years were spent in Shanghai where my father had a quite successful retail business. Looking back, the experience of growing up in such an exotic location was amazing. The culture was just incredible. In the evenings my father sketched a little bit…and I sketched alongside him. My mother bought me some crayons. I remember that one of the walls in our home was a beautiful light each color and I was eager to put my mark on it. At first my mother told me not to draw on the wall until my father said it was okay. When, to my great surprise, he okayed it, my mother smiled and said, ‘it’s okay, sweetie, go ahead”. So, from the beginning they were both very encouraging of my freedom of expression.


While living in Shanghai we took a vacation to Tibet for the summer. We stayed at a beautiful British hotel that my parents had heard about and were eager to visit. Very near the hotel was a Buddhist monastery and every time I passed by they were sitting quietly in meditation. I had no idea what meditation was and one day I asked my mother just why the monks were sitting so still. She did her best to explain it to me and finally the light went on and I understood. 

I was out of art school a short time when a friend of mine introduced me to someone from the Van Heusen Company. The guy asked if he could take some of my designs and put them on shirts. I couldn’t conceive of that because I’m a painter who works on canvas and the idea of putting my art on a piece of clothing was foreign to me. But, I agreed and we did it, and before long a licensing agent came to see me. Within a year I had the 72 licensing deals. And they made $2.6 billion dollars! As for me, I made about $200 million from the retail sales.


Many years later in Paris, I met an Indian yogi named Swami Satchidananda, and I brought him to America. I was blown away by his wisdom and his charm and how well he articulated inner peace. I had never heard those words before—inner peace—and the experience of quiet and meditation just felt nice to me. In time I opened 52 yoga centers in his name all around the country. I was maybe 20 years old at the time and I invited friends up and friends brought friends, people like The Rascals and Carole King…a whole bunch of people came. I had a gigantic living room and I set up a chair for the swami and about 60 folding chairs for the guests. He gave many, many lectures and the room always filled up. I eventually rented a place for him to live on West End Avenue. It also had a very big living room. He gave classes and I hired someone to watch the doors and check people in and within three or four weeks it was standing room only, so we found a bigger place on 78th Street.


I bought that for him, because I was making a lot of money with the licensing deals I had at the time. After that I bought an even bigger building on 13th Street. The swami lived there and gave classes. Over the years I opened a total of 52 centers for the swami. For me, this was my greatest accomplishment; more so than my art career and my success as an artist with works in museums around the world. It brought spirituality to me and it was unbelievable. To know that inner peace…how to tune out all the craziness. Sadly, he died a few years ago. He was 91 years old. Yoga became as big a career as my art. And that was the biggest thing in my life: To bring yoga into America and bring America into yoga. A few years later I got a call from George Harrison, who was an acquaintance of mine at the time and he told me that they (the Beatles) had also met a swami and his name was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

I knew the Beach Boys and the Beatles very well. John Lennon and I were best friends. We used to hang out a lot. I knew Yoko as well. But I knew them separately at first. I knew Yoko before John knew her. Later, I would visit them every second or third day at the Dakota and many times the three of us would go across the street to Central Park and we would walk and talk together.

I hung with Jimmy Hendrix for two years before he got well known. I met him in a café that Albert Grossman owned north of Woodstock. Grossman was a business guy who became Bob Dylan’s and Carole King’s manager.  He offered music in his café. One day, I’m sitting in the café drawing and a guy sitting next to me leans over and says ‘Hey man, this is really cool, are you an artist?” We start talking and I ask him what he does. He says, ‘I sing and play guitar’. I got to know him pretty well. He was the first black kid I had ever met…tall…and we walked around and he took me to his place, which was in Woodstock. He picked up his guitar and started to play and I was blown away. Jimmy Hendrix, can you imagine? Jimmy Hendrix. And he sang for me. Two years before he put out his first album. I met Carole King in the same way—and the Rolling Stones.


PRIVATE POLICY – S/S 2021
For Private Policy’s upcoming collection, the designers chose to refocus our understanding of beauty. Embarking on a search for the modern day Aphrodite, the collection expands upon the belief that it is not a beauty pageant but a process of accepting ourselves and others, thriving with diversity and giving the positivity of life itself. http://www.privatepolicyny.com/
Big Chief Dowee Robair
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Collini Milano 1937
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4254
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JULIA CLANCEY
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Known for its lavish celebrity disco parties in the late 1970s, Studio 54 became a symbol of the NYC elite, and many of the images—such as Bianca Jagger on the white horse— were as notorious as the club that inspired them. Behind the camera of many of the famed photographs was the tenacious and legendary photographer Rose Hartman; intrepid partygoer ... Read More
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The moment Miljan walked into the Air France Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport he was immediately inspired by the architectural environment to create an installation/exhibition “Studio Visit”. As the first site-specific art installation of it’s kind the Air France lounge, his 35 large vibrant abstract works that were met with wide acclaim during the vernissage on November 12th. Miljan is ... Read More
helena christen
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‘In My Dream Last Night…’ is the armature behind an ongoing short film and sound concept by creative duo Stærk&Christensen, in collaboration with a number of artists from various fields who are a continuous source of inspiration to the duo. A collection of personal moments, thoughts and dreams are revealed and interpreted through each collaborator, underpinning the composition of the work.
Alysia Reiner and the New Woman’s World Order
It is a historic time in the history of the United States. More women than ever are running for president, educational opportunities are slowly advancing for women globally, and America has returned to having a female Speaker of the House. However, the fight for women’s rights and equality still rages on fiercely, and one of the biggest topics surrounding that issue in these contemporary times is motherhood.
Retiré: Cary Fagan x Giu Gui
Movement — a physical manifestation of our endless imagination. It allows us to create, to connect, to observe, and most importantly to know ourselves. To move is to be free. In this series, Fagan captures the intimacy of spontaneous expression. The motions, inspired by ballet, are so beautifully thoughtless they allow one’s true self to shine through. Ballerinas placed in a relaxed environment, turned off from the strains of perfectionism, yet still aware of movement. The motions are natural and evoke a childlike curiosity.
Theodora Richards
Between running her own radio station, modeling, and campaigning in the ongoing crusade for equal women’s rights, it’s a wonder that Theodora can even find time to squeeze in an interview. Growing up in a household with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, it’s fairly inevitable that a strong musical backbone would form during Theodora’s childhood. With Off the Cuff, Theodora’s subscription Sirius radio station, she shares her unique taste with the world.
South of Reality: The Claypool Lennon Delirium
The Claypool Lennon Delirium is one of those rare bands that make you smarter when you listen to their music...The mood hovers around the spectrum of psychedelic rock, with dizzying bass riffs and otherworldly electric guitar.
Zac Posen: By the Gals, For the Gals
Coincidentally, just a couple weeks before showing ZAC ZAC at Coterie, Posen was asked by Google and their online program Made With Code, to create an LED dress. Made With Code’s website encourages girls to study science and technology. It tells the stories of various young ladies who have learned to computer coding to various ends: combined with biology to find the cure for cancer; enhancing costumes to create other worldly choreography on stage; and within fabric for literally enlightened clothing. Posen was asked to do the latter, showcasing an incredible light enhanced black gown worn by the model Coco Rocha for a group of women who code.
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Drawing across a surface is a mysterious adventure, full of complex possibility and poetry. While the works represented on these pages date from the 1970’s to the present and incorporate diverse processes and mediums, they all share my life’s preoccupation with the power of the drawn line.
Joseph La Piana
My creative process is centered around the concept of evolution and the capacity to transform. I believe these concepts spring from a sense of optimism that we are not necessarily bound by our past, but by the boundless potential of the future. When a viewer engages with my work, I hope they are inspired by this optimism to imagine a future not bound by current preconceptions but infinite possibilities.
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Most recognized for performance as a non-traditional method of painting, Brown uses her body as a tool to create artifacts that are remnants of her process. Reminiscent of abstract expressionist studies, Brown produces aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining rawness of human emotion. Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes her physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives.
Bryan Adams: Pleasures of Abstraction
‘Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam’ - The smallest hair casts a shadow + Francis Bacon
Nobody
The school sits square, brick, and bunker like, cupping a central yard, which I do remember as the exact spot Artie Cano knocked the wind out of me with one punch to the stomach after I said something he didn’t like. This, right in front of the willowy Michelle Jones, who from that moment on saw through me like I was a soap bubble.
ERA Now
Feminist has become a dirty word. So often people feel uncomfortable openly identifying as a feminist because of the misguided notion that the term means that women should have power over men or that it is a euphemism for “man-hater.” Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights If you believe in that, congratulations you’re a feminist! Both men and women can be feminists. Now more than ever it is important for closeted feminists to come out into the open.
Robert Geller
I don’t have an ideal type of man. I guess the ideal man is the one who identifies with these clothes and who feels better in them. My clothes don’t scream but they do tell a story. You have to have the patience to understand this story to really appreciate my clothes.
Jasmine Lobe
1. At what point in your life did you first identify as a feminist and when did you become aware that a culture existed that devalued and debased women?  I didn’t really learn about feminism until I went to college. My mother was always a feminist but I don’t remember the word being used all that much. I associated it ... Read More
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