PETER MAX, A MEET AND GREET EXPERIENCE
Originally posted on 2010
I've neglected this site for a bit, I was upset as a result of a Forgery felony whereas I (and many others) was a victim, as a result, it happens that my Canvas collection was forged by a Peter Max official store owner. The case was investigated by the FBI Art department, the culprit found guilty and now is spending some time behind bars along with 2 accomplices. I am waiting for some retribution, but not overly excited of obtaining it since the perpetrator allegedly has also more raps with the law. Unfortunately, the PETER MAX studio was not highly cooperative with me, and I spent a fortune in attorney's fees to obtain some positive results, even if only moral.
Still, I admire the old PETER MAX, the great Pop Artist of the Sixties and Seventies, and the one that created American images that will remain for years to come. But for me, whatever emanates from the studio after 2010, is not as valuable or important as all the other pieces his studio and himself participated, even the Lithograph, serigraphs, licensed items and signed poster are more valuable because they have the true spirit of the man not only the Dollar Sign.
Having said that, I believe The Max Collector has the biggest and most varied collection of collectibles and Memorabilia of Peter and I will care for it, increase it and leave it as a family legacy so that my grand-children will be able to open a PETER MAX unique pieces museum. After all, regardless of what the Studio is doing now for profit, he is one (along with Robert Indiana) of the few living Pop Artist of that golden era of Americana.
June 1972, I was 22 years old and visiting
New York, Mr. Max was already pretty famous, especially after his LOVE and
COSMIC RUNNER collections and thousand of fantastic posters that decorated more
than one home and office wall. I was a pseudo-hippie who admired his work and
even tried to copy his ideas in my aficionado drawings, so I decided that I had
to meet him, not an easy task for a youngster from Italy living in South
America. I moved some contacts in the magazine industry in my home city, and
voila!, I got the assignment as the graphic reporter for a low budget
magazine (I was an amateur Photographer by then). I took all my
money savings and planned a trip to New York with a close friend. Once there, I
made some phone calls, which were promptly replied and to my surprise and
rejoice, next day after my arrival to the Big Apple, I found myself in his downtown NY three floors
studio, sitting down in his private office and chit-chatting with
him about I cannot remember what, but surely related to some cosmic world
or the beauty of Karmic aura.
i took on July 1972 enhanced with
Photoshop and signed by PM in Miami, on May 2010)
He was lying down comfortably under the
protection of a RUNNER IN RED. 35 years of age on October 1972, and yet
his spirit was the quintessence of that revolutionary era that changed the
world, he was so very cool and spiritual that I was marked by this for a long
time. I had my Nikon F2 with the mandatory 105mm portrait lens and a pushed 800
ASA Kodak film for larger grain, but now in retrospective, I wish I had an
Ektachrome slide film roll on it, so I
took some images, that I finally found after 38 long years. Funny thing? I never made this interview nor the images known until 2011.
(RUNNER IN RED done
in 1969. The image I took was in black
and white, I copy-pasted it in color for a dramatic effect).
For those who do not believe in
destiny... here comes the good part of this story: I am having my usual morning
coffee reading the Miami Herald, and to my surprise I read some kind of info-ad
mentioning that Mr. Max would be present at a Meet and Greet event in a Coconut Grove Gallery, so I decided it was
only fair that I let Peter have copies of the old New York visit images as a
gift. I have no doubt that he is the last of the relevant POP artists
around and he will be for a while since he has a healthy life and a peaceful
attitude, so it would be a great honor for me to deliver my prints. I even
intervened one of them with PS, and I added some very spiffy toned down colors.
May 15th, 2010 Location: MAX AT THE GROVE, south Miami,
time: 8:00 P.M. My wife and I arrive at the meet the
artist presentation of PM, and the tiny space was filled with his art,
most of his work were represented there in one way or another, be it canvas,
mixed media and acrylic, lithographs, or simple prints along with some objects
such as a Mexican Fender Guitar, a 1994 World Cup soccer statuette, and
Football helmets. It was quite crowded yet comfortable to roam around detailing
the art pieces.
Peter was sitting next to a
table talking with other gentlemen, but I managed to catch his attention and
had the chance to have a brief conversation and hand him the New York images. He was startled,
immediately passing them around to all his business associates and nearby
friends, then very humbly asked me "Are these for me?". I was amazed,
perhaps waiting some arrogant and detached remark, but I was
pleased by giving him the two somewhat destroyed pictures, almost
sure that his work force had many experts in retouching them, plus I included
some additional personally reconstructed sets I made for him. He was so
very gracious, gave me his personal card and told his assistant to remind him
to have a souvenir sent to me to Miami. I had the audacity of asking him to
sign one of the copies of the pictures I took, and he very graciously
accepted. What a souvenir for my collection!
Oh, I cannot forget to add that we bought a huge 48 x 48
ins." Liberty Head" original canvas that night, and he scribbled it with
marker behind on the back.
Purchase only PETER MAX mixed media and canvases with the Artist present and request for his signature on the back of the piece. There are multiple forgeries even originated (Provenance) at galleries that once could have been validated by the MAX studio.
The Max Collector - images copyright of Ed Gugliotta