Artists & Galleries

Honoring Dan’s Papers 4th of July Issue Cover Artist Peter Max

Showcasing his art at this time every year has become a beloved tradition.

Peter Max’s art has graced the cover of Dan’s Papers annually since July 4, 2003. An artist of international renown, Max’s work is beloved for its distinct, bright colors and psychedelia. Max, who was born in Berlin before becoming one of the first modern superstar artists—he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—has offered up many insights to Dan’s Papers over the years. Here are just a few.

On creativity, 2014
“I wake up with a tremendous urge to paint. I never know what I’m going to paint. I just dip my brush in and begin. I start at 7 a.m. and I don’t stop until I go to sleep.”

On painting celebrities, 2017
“I love to paint and see my colorful brushstrokes and imagery emerge on canvas. Sometimes I am as surprised as a person standing next to me, as I often come to a blank canvas with a blank mind and just allow my work to flow through me. Of course, I first had to work hard on developing the skills and disciplines to allow this flow to occur. I also love the wonderful commissions I have had to paint—portraits of rock stars, movie stars, presidents, sports icons, etc. It’s been an honor to paint them and a thrill to hang out with them.”

Peter Max in his New York City studio with his ‘Flag with Heart’ painting that was commissioned for a White House unveiling, c. 1989, Photo: ©ALP, Inc.
Peter Max in his New York City studio with his ‘Flag with Heart’ painting that was commissioned for a White House unveiling, c. 1989, Photo: ©ALP, Inc.

On America, 2018
“The 4th of July has always meant something special to me since I arrived in America with my parents at age 16, after growing up in Shanghai, China, and Haifa, Israel. New York City captured my imagination and the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty have inspired my collages and paintings since early on. America has always been a land of creativity to me, with [its] great ideas, amazing innovations, kind and generous people and big heart. July 4th is a time to celebrate our national spirit and our Independence Day.”

On his greatest achievement, 2019
“I am most proud of my creativity and the range of projects and mediums I’ve been able to work in through the years. The universe itself is the greatest expression of creativity and diversity and always inspires me. If there’s one motto that’s always been with me, it’s ‘Be Creative.’”

On how art can heal the world, 2019
“It should promote peace, promote happiness. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my art. Creativity can heal the world. Our planet itself is God and the universe’s great masterpiece. We can be inspired by it, and treat it and others kindly, working for a healing world.”

READ MORE HONORING THE ARTIST INTERVIEWS

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