Thursday, December 20, 2012


Depressed to know there are quite a few PETER MAX paint forgeries around. Since I like the artwork, I will stick to old prints and memorabilia though. I still have the idea of installing an exhibition eventually.

I believe my 40 x 40 inches LADY LIBERTY featured in this image with the Artist is not a forgery

Now I also found out that Certificate of origin did not exist until late Seventies, and that what counts is PROVENANCE, or plainly said: where was the piece purchased and the sales Invoice granted,  although with some PETER MAX items , this seems to  be a bit difficult to asses. I did purchase many Paintings from a MAX certified store and yet, I allegedly  have some inexplicable issues with them. 
So, I'll stick to old prints and Memorabilia. If anyone has had some kind of problems with their canvases, please contact me.


Saturday, October 13, 2012



First brochure containing the Norwegian Cruiselines BreakWay ship, with PETER MAX's artwork on the hull. October 2012. Historic date for Max's Atelier in New York. This project is perhaps only second to the Continental 2000 Airplane.
Actual brochure received  October 12th, 2012

 Rendering of the BREAKWAY hull to be launched in early 2013.

PETER MAX talks about the artwork

NEW YORK -- Add cruise ships to the list of things decorated by pop artist Peter Max.
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan on Thursday announced the company had commissioned Max to design the hull art for its next ship, the Norwegian Breakaway.
Speaking at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, Sheehan noted it was the first time the line had asked a well-known artist to create one of the designs that adorn the outside of its vessel.

"I am a huge fan of his work and know that the art he creates for Norwegian Breakaway will make the ship instantly recognizable," Sheehan said.

Max, a prolific illustrator who has painted everything from a Boeing 777 flying for Continental to a giant mural at the 2002 Winter Olympics, is preparing four options for the Norwegian Breakaway's exterior.
Norwegian on Thursday also announced that the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway would be based year-round in New York, becoming the largest cruise ship ever home ported in the city. Read more about Norwegian's announcement.
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Germany, the Norwegian Breakaway is scheduled to debut in May 2013. The ship was named by a USA TODAY reader in a contest held here at the Cruise Log this year.
Cruise Loggers, share your thoughts below.

USA TODAY, October 7th, 2011

Sample image of a finished artwork (not Peter's):

Friday, October 12, 2012


Norwegian Cruises and the Peter Max Studio, have finally revealed the future hull of the Breakaway cruise liner. After the Continental Airways 2000 livery artwork, this perhaps will be one of the largest designs produced by the Studio.The Max Collector extends it's best compliments to all the parties involved.

Credit: PARK WEST galleries

MIAMI, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2012) — Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed Norwegian Breakaway’s signature hull artwork designed by pop icon and America’s most popular living artist, Peter Max. This is the first time Norwegian has commissioned a well-known artist to paint the hull artwork on one of its ships. Launching in April 2013, Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship to homeport in New York City year-round. Max’s signature artwork will cover approximately 40,000 square feet of Norwegian Breakaway’s hull.
“While it has been an honor to have my art exhibited in museums and galleries, I have also enjoyed creating giant ‘canvases’ for public view, including my 600 ft. Woodstock stage, a giant World’s Fair mural, the body of a Continental 777 super jet, and now, the hull of Norwegian Breakaway,” said Peter Max from his New York studio. “The artwork is a composite of New York City and cosmic imagery— the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, a giant sunburst, planets, stars, and musical notes. That’s my New York! And now Norwegian Breakaway is my New York cruise ship ‘canvas.’”
“Norwegian Breakaway is New York’s ship and this colorful artwork by Peter Max will make the ship an instant icon,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “The Big Apple is known for its love of art and its many galleries – and now, Norwegian Breakaway becomes a floating piece of art that will cruise in and dock every Saturday on New York’s West Side. With this distinctive design, unlike anything else on the water, the ship will be recognizable to the millions of New Yorkers who will see her as she journeys up and down the Hudson River each week.”
To learn more, visit
Park West Gallery has enjoyed a relationship with Peter Max since the 1970s, and is the artist’s largest and longest-running dealer in the world. Peter Max fine art is available at Park West Gallery cruise art auctions throughout the world or may be purchased through our gallery in Southfield, Michigan. Learn more at

Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest 4,000-passenger Freestyle Cruising ship goes on sale on Monday, October 17, 2011. (For NCL past guests, reservations are now being accepted as of today).

Norwegian Breakaway will sail a seven-day Transatlantic cruise from Southampton , England to New York City on April 30, 2013. Rates on the Transatlantic are from $749 per person, double occupancy.

Once in New York , the ship will sail a series of 22 seven-day cruises to Bermuda beginning May 12 through October 6, 2013. Departing on Sundays, the ship will spend three full days on the beautiful island of Bermuda , along with three relaxing days at sea. Rates on the inaugural Bermuda sailings are from $1199 per person, double occupancy.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany , Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013. Norwegian Breakaway will make New York City her year-round home port, the largest ship ever to home port in the City. Legendary iconic pop artist Peter Max has been commissioned to paint the ship’s signature hull artwork.

Credit:,  Image: Norwegian Cruise Lines



The PETER MAX studio/Atelier brand has released a new lithograph series of 250 of JOE BONAMASSA.  someone in the N.Y. office of the well known Cosmic artist of the Seventies is into the Blues.... good! And even better now that my copy is hanging on the wall.

LITHO N. 8 series of 250

 Joe's poster, the JB Gibson Les Paul and me.

PETER AND JOE 2010, and the Painted GIBSON  Les Paul 1956

And at a cool Gibson Forum, someone posted it, so I believe that either JOE sold it or someone took a picture of it at a concert:

I am no so sure I like this great GIBSON Les Paul to be intervened in such a way.

Joe and some of his guitars.

credits are all included





Born PETER MAX FINKLESTEIN in Berlin, Germany on October 19th, 1937, Peter's parents were JACOB, born in Poland and SALA in Germany.

The year before Peter was born, The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics took place, also known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, it was an international multi-sport event. Berlin won the bid to host these Games in 1931, two years before the Nazis came to power and during which events,  the American Jesse Owens won four gold medals. His father Jacob was then a pearl merchant.

Stadium of the XI Olimpiad games 1 Aug 1936 to 16 Aug 1936
credit: - Ted Bedell

By 1936, Germany’s Jews and other minorities had been stripped of their civil rights, even their citizenship, and the Nazi regime had already opened its first concentration camps. An in this same city where Marsden Hartley had the inspiration for his First World War "Elegies" in 1914 (project further enhanced by Robert Indiana in 1991),  a city that by all standards of early XXth century was advanced and liberal,  A year later and for more than one obvious reason - including perhaps the infamous pogrom and the series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany as well as parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938 -,  PETER's parents must have decided that to remain in Germany being a Jewish family, would have been catastrophic so they moved to Shanghai, China. At the beginning, It was unclear to me the motive of why many Jewish families of German origin moved to Shanghai of all places,  in those crucial years of social unrest and political  instability in the Teutonic country and part of Europe. IN this book, I will provide more than usual information on these 10 years period of Peter because it came as a shock to me the whole meaning of this abrupt change in the life of his family and himself, an although he was very young, I am sure he eventually came to grasp this crude reality of what his parents Sala and Jacob had to endure before finally reaching a full stable and safe environment in America. Also, I want to use this chapter as a humble recognition to all my Jewish friends, many of whom I share personal close relationship such as Dr,William Abramovits in Dallas Texas, Dr. Daniel Gelrud in Miami, Benjamin Grynbaum , Carlos Brender and Roberto Cohen  in Venezuela. To them, a small token of appreciation for the meaning of the Hebrew nation endurance, perseverance and important participation on the global progress of Civilization as we know it.


When I started deepening my knowledge on PETER's history, I wondered continuously why did a Jewish European (Ashkenazi) family move to such a different environment as Shangai, and I eventually found out the fundamental reason when I bumped into "the Ghosts of Shangai" by Ron Gluckman, and while reading this excellent historic article, the enigmas was rapidly elucidated.

n his own words, Gluckman mentions, " A half century ago, they inhabited an intriguing corner of China: Shanghai's boisterous Jewish ghetto. Viennese gentlemen sipped coffee outside Austrian bakeries so authentic that the neighborhood was called Little Vienna. Nearby were kosher butcher shops and German delicatessens. Diners read Shanghai papers printed in German, Polish, even Yiddish. Candles for Jewish holidays were sold nearby at Abraham's Dry Goods, and the tango was danced nightly at Max Sperber's Silk Hat.
A unique Jewish community once thrived in Shanghai, where Jews had worked since the opening of China's largest treaty port in 1842. A century later, European Jews fleeing Adolf Hitler poured into Shanghai where, even among the large international settlements, they stood out, a distinct community with its own hospitals, theaters, schools and sports leagues. Life wasn't always jolly, of course. Jewish refugees were later herded into Hongkou ghetto in the city's northeast, where food was scarce and disease rampant. But in Shanghai, unlike much of the world, nearly all the Jews survived the war".   (Plaque marking the borders of the Jewish Ghetto, defined as Stateless Refugees).

Thomas Crampton of Social Media in China and across Asia, also mentioned: " of The Municipal Council’s map, issued for visitors to Shanghai in 1935, shows a city that had grown up in the previous 20 years — by 1935 the Bund was formed pretty much as we know it today and the International Concession reached out past the race course, now People’s Square. One interesting thing to note is that when supposed old hands in Shanghai tell you Pudong was nothing but fields and farms when they came here, you’ll know they are bullshitting —Pudong was a thriving factory area then around what is now Lujiazui".

with this accurate description of the Ghetto and its surroundings, it's easily understandable the coherent option of Mr. and Mrs. Max of moving there before risking small Peter's and their own lives.  They remained in Shanghai until 1947 and a year in Tibet, when again, for political reasons and internal social unrest, they had to move.

1947 Map of Shanghai with the Jewish Ghetto highlighted

The Shanghai Jewish Community by Eli Braun

"Shanghai, a port city in the Kiangsu province in Eastern China, opened to foreign trade in 1842. Subsequently, the city of Shanghai absorbed many of the Ashkenazi émigrés fleeing repression in Eastern Europe. Russian Jews fleeing persecution and massacres under the Tsar also emigrated and built the Ohel Moishe Synagogue in Shanghai in 1907. But the majority of the Shanghai Jewish population was Sephardim from Baghdad, Bombay, and Cairo, including the wealthy families Sassoon, Kadoorie, Hardoon, Ezra, Shamoon, and Baroukh. These families raised the Jewish population of Shanghai to approximately 700, including 400 Sephardim, 250 Europeans, and 50 Americans. Most of them were merchants, although some were in medicine, teaching, and diplomatic service.
Jews fleeing the Russian Revolution of 1917 further increased the Jewish population and raised awareness for the Zionist movement. Then in the 1930s and 40s, Jewish refugees from Germany and German-occupied areas fleeing the Nazi regime increased the Shanghai population to approximately 25,000. Lubavitch Hasidim, as well

as remnants of the Mir and Slobodka Lithuanian yeshivot (Jewish religious schools), found refuge in Shanghai, which became a frequent destination because the free port did not require visas.
Between 1904 and 1939, three synagogues were built in Shanghai, and 12 Jewish magazines in English, German, and Russian were established and published there. A Hebrew newspaper was also published as early as 1904. The leading magazine, Israel’s Messenger, was a Zionist monthly founded in 1904 by N. E. B. Ezra and published until his death in 1936.
Japan captured Shanghai in 1937 and closed it to further immigration in December 1941. They deported most of their Jews to the miserable Hongkew district of Shanghai and kept them in unsanitary semi-internment camps under Japanese occupation forces. The Shanghai Jews, including the transferred Japanese Jews, suffered great economic and property loss during the war, after which, most left to the United States, Britain, Israel, Australia, and other communities. Since 1948, 1,070 Jews from China have immigrated to Israel, with 504 leaving between 1948 and 1951".  (

Jenna Vandenberg ( the ), so kindly provided me with the excerpt and image of her visit to this unique Museum:

"I LOVED this museum! It was only two rooms plus the synagogue, but I spent more time here then at the entire Shanghai Museum. This was probably because I was taking pictures of every artifact as I planning lessons (whole units, actually) for my non-existent students. I am really going to miss teaching next year.
Unbeknownst to me, as the rest of the world was shutting its doors to Jewish immigration during the 1930’s Shanghai became one of the few places where fleeing Jews could go. The Chinese explanation on this is that the Chinese people/government is just that much more caring than the rest of the world. However, I suspect that the lack of visa regulations and laws in Shanghai (which was an international city at the time) might have a little do to with things as well. Jewish refugees congregated near what is today the museum and built a life of sorts in Shanghai. The museum houses many of their stories and artifacts. Inside the synagogue is a database of the Jewish refugees and a continuously running TV program (one hour long) about some of the Jews that have returned to Shanghai for nostalgic purposes.
The Jewish Refugees Museum and Synagogue entrance is 50 yuan. It is open daily from 9-5. They have free tours every 45 minutes, which seemed a little unnecessary since I was one of three patrons and everything was in English. The museum is at 62 Changyang Road. Take metro line 4 to the Dalian road station and head east for about three blocks. You can check out Huoshan Park on your way there, also a Jewish site. I didn’t linger due to the thunder, lightening, and rain pouring sideways, but it looked nice".
Jenna's accurate depiction of the historic environment surrounding the museum and the people that participated in the creation of the moment, is very specific and detailed. I am curious to know if PETER MAX has ever returned there.
According to, today there are eight Jewish families in Kaifeng with the Han people's surnames of Zhao, Ai, Li, Zhang, Shi, Jin and Gao. Each surname has its own origin. For example, Ai came from Adam. Zhao was given by the emperor of Song (The emperors of Song were surnamed Zhao.)

Shanghai Jewish Museum - image from

In 2002, Dana Janklowicz & Amir Mann, directed an astounding film recreating the instances and life of this very dramatic period of the life of many a Jewish family fleeing from Nazi Germany. The film was brilliantly narrated by Martin Landau, and it recalls this true story of thousands of European Jews who where denied entry authorization in more than one country in the late 1930s, and ended in this uncommon Asian city under the control of Japan at that time. Most probably it was not the perfect environment for them and their families, but provided some sense of safety.

The directors spent time in today's Shanghai Ghetto remains, provided many images and interviewed survivors of this yet another example of the crudeness of the persecution that the Jewish people had to endure during the Second World war. This film is a crude narrative of the ordeal these Jewish families where subject to, and probably, although not expressly mentioned in the film, the MAXES were among them, since it is known that Peter's father did operate a clothing business in the area. Obviously, the boy must have had a great influence during these first 10 years of life, while being artistically stimulated by Sala, his mother who provided the supplies and helped Peter to explore the richness of the Asian culture, architecture and history.
The Shanghai Ghetto - DVD 2002 published by Rebel CHild Production

Part of the biography mentioned on includes, "He lived in a pagoda style house situated amidst a Buddhist monastery, a Sikh temple and a Viennese cafe.". mentions " Max’s rise to prominence as an American icon actually began in his childhood home in Shanghai— a pagoda house, where on one side there was a Buddhist monastery, and on the other, a Sikh temple. In the morning he would watch the Buddhist monks painting Chinese characters on vast sheets of rice paper with large bamboo brushes and at night, he would listen to the beautifully sung prayers of the Sikhs".
In more than one biography of PETER MAX, it is mentioned either that he lived in a Pagoda during his Shanghai days, or that his home looked to one. According to experts and regular visitors of that city, there were either no pagodas in the Jewish Ghetto, or very few to be found (7) in all Shanghai, hence, this concept could be a Public Relation's romantic creation to enhance Peter's mystic origins or a mere mistake derived by so many years of biographies and interviews.
The Longhua Pagoda is the only remaining pre-modern pagoda in Shanghai city. It has an octagonal floor layout. The size of the seven stories decreases from the bottom to the top. The pagoda consists of a hollow, tube-like brick core surrounded by a wooden staircase. On the outside, it is decorated with balconies, banisters, and upturned eaves. These outer decorations have been reconstructed in keeping with the original style (

·        For all interested on PETER's younger years in Shanghai, the interview in the program Day and Night is perhaps the most complete and interesting piece of historic review on MAX.  From CUNY TV in YOUTUBE:  Taped: in 12/05/73. "CUNY TV is proud to re-broadcast newly digitized episodes of DAY AT NIGHT, the popular public television series hosted by the late James Day. Day was a true pioneer of public television: co-founder of KQED in San Francisco, president of WNET upon the merger of National Educational Television (NET) and television station WNDT/Channel 13, and most recently, Chairman of the CUNY TV Advisory Board. The series features fascinating interviews with notable cultural and political figures conducted in the mid 1970's" ( ).
Mr. Day interviewed Peter for 28 minutes, and obtained very personal points of view of the life of Peter in the very early SEVENTIES. I personally enjoyed very much a brief but concise recount of his younger years in Shanghai, and curiously, PETER does not mention the word Ghetto, and idealizes this Chinese city as the source of the genesis of his creativity, mentioning also how he was picked up daily by a Rickshaw that took him to school, and other details of his life that seem to be a bit unreal if compared to  the harsh life that the Germans in some sort of exile lived during that decade. I will be mentioning this extraordinary interview in many sections of this book.


·        Thanks to PAUL ANGEL of Access Asia UK for providing me relevant information.
·        Thanks to Jenna Vandenberg website
·  search Jewish Orient


An old photo of Peter Max, who spent most of his childhood in Shanghai from 1938 to 1949 after his parents fled Nazi Germany to escape the Holocaust. Provided to China Daily

Peter Max recalls crying hard on a ship from Shanghai to Israel with his parents over 60 years ago. After living in Shanghai for more than a decade, the Jewish boy was reluctant to leave behind his Chinese nanny, playmates and pet cat.
Max, now an internationally acclaimed artist, has returned to Shanghai for the first time, and his greatest wish is to find his nanny

"I became an artist because of her," said Max, who is known for using psychedelic shapes and colors in his paintings and poster designs.
Max was born Peter Max Finkelstein in Germany in 1937. He came to Shanghai with his parents Jacob and Salla Finkelstein in 1938, and lived in the Hongkou Jewish community until 1949.
His nanny was the daughter of a Chinese friend of the Finkelstein family.
"She came to me when I had just turned 3," Max recalled. "She used to come to my home almost every day, walking with me, playing with me and teaching me to draw."
Max does not remember the name, age, or any personal information about his nanny, except that she was a few years older than he, was sweet and always smiling and hugging him. He recalled with emotion how she walked in the park with him, showing him the moon and stars, and taught him to draw freely.

Peter Max, a German-born Jewish American artist, holds a portrait that he painted for his Chinese nanny during his journey in search of her in Shanghai on Thursday. Gao Erqiang / China Daily

Max brought with him some childhood pictures of his family, who opened the first large clothing store in the Hongkou neighborhood of Shanghai, hoping his nanny might recognize them.
If he can find her, Max said: "I want to do everything I can to make her life better." He is ready to provide all possible help to her children and family too. But even if he cannot find her, "I'll love her all my life as a sister. She still lives in my mind," he said.
"Many Jewish people became very successful after living in Shanghai through the war," said Chen Jian, director of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.
"Their achievements are largely because of their experience in Shanghai. The city nurtured them."
Shanghai hosted about 30,000 Jewish refugees during World War II, and more than 20,000 of them lived in the Hongkou ghetto.
Chen showed Max around the old Jewish community, where Max used to hear the chanting and bells from a Buddhist temple and the neighboring Sikh gurdwara. The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum sits across the street at No 62 Changyang Road, in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue.
"My biggest blessing was that I grew up in Shanghai," Max said.
He and daughter Libra visited the former Jewish ghetto in Hongkou as soon as they arrived in Shanghai. This is the first time he has been back, but is unlikely to be the last.
Max will exhibit some of his work at Room 1605, No 1101 Pudong Road South and plans to open his own studio in the city. He also plans more trips to China and hopes to bring yet more of his art in the future.
"I've heard about China all my life, from my father and my grandparents, how the beautiful Chinese people saved our lives," said Libra Max. "I've been very emotional the whole morning. It feels like coming home."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


     PINA DI COLA, illustrious West Coast photographer of celebrities and Self Image adviser, profiled on her website as: "(She) has spent the last twenty years exploring the depths and mystery of the human psyche and its emotions through many therapeutic processes. Lead by the desire to understand the issues of self-image that she was confronted with every day with her work which eventually allowed her to transform her life as well.
It wasn’t just phrases like “I’m not photogenic” or “I’m shy in front of the camera,” “My nose is too big” or “I’m too fat,” Etc. These sorts of self-image issues proved to be minor roadblocks for her work, but she found that as she started to engage her clients she was able to understand why they view themselves as they do.
Once her and her clients broke through this initial shell her work became much more personal and reflective of her clients true nature.
She was motivated by more than that. She was able to surround herself with beautiful and powerful people and was able to observe and interact with them while in a vulnerable state which allowed her to understand their personality and assess their self- i

She has given art expression to hundred of important personalities ( and on November 29th, 1991, Pina had the opportunity of conducting a "one on one" Photo Session with PETER MAX, and from this opportunity resulted images such as these I selected from my 35 MM slides collection.

     I share with Pina common Italian roots, and we have exchanged communications for a while, and  she was so gracious and understanding of my Collection, that a few days ago, she sent me a complete ORIGINAL exchange of communications and letters between her and PETER, along with a hand design original ARTWORK that he gave her as a token of gratitude for the excellent and professional work she did with the 1991 Photo shoot. And I am proud to share in this blog, these unrepeatable  historic reminiscences  of that moment :

 Peter's thank you letter, and Pina's own recount of the photo session event. Evidently, Peter was very satisfied and thankful with the results.

 Original sketch  sent to Pina in 1992

Reverse of the 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 Hand made colored sketch with the serial number and date