Honoring Dan’s Papers December 31, 2021 Cover Artist Peter Max

Artist Peter Max and his daughter Libra Max in his New York City Studio in 2019.
Artist Peter Max and his daughter Libra Max in his New York City Studio in 2019

January 4, 2022, update: Dan’s Papers has been informed that a libel complaint has been brought against Libra Max by one of Peter’s guardians who claims that in the many articles concerning Peter’s guardianship each has contained “a number of defamatory statements made by Libra.” The complaint also asserts that the guardian “has never been paid.”

The great Peter Max has graced the cover of Dan’s Papers Fourth of July issues for many years, and this year we’ve invited the beloved New York artist to ring in 2022 with a special cover for our December 31, 2021 New Year’s issue. His daughter Libra Max discusses Max’s work and this week’s cover art, but also some shocking news that has come to light since we last checked in with Max.

December 31, 2021 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Peter Max
December 31, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover art (detail) by Peter Max

What is the name of this stunning piece, and what’s the story behind its inspiration and creation?

The New Year’s 2022 cover art for Dan’s Papers is an extraordinary serigraph from 1970 titled “Right Now,” which was inspired by my father’s gift of always being able to be present in the moment and seize the flow of inspiration as it came through without question. My father taught young artists to allow their inspiration and ideas to flow freely and to ignore the inner critic.

Peter Max art is about positivity and possibility, looking forward at our world with hope for the future and looking to the universe beyond. My father has always created his works with a clear intention of spreading peace, kindness and unity — a message as relevant today as it was in the Summer of Love in the ’60s.

"Flag with Heart" By Peter Max
“Flag with Heart” By Peter Max

Since we last spoke, the #FreePeterMax movement has taken off. Can you give us some insight into the reason for the movement’s creation and how it intends to resolve the situation it’s rallying against?

I want to thank Dan’s Papers from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to share what is happening to my father, Peter Max, with your readers. My father has created cover art for Dan’s Papers for almost 20 years. This year, I will be sharing something more personal regarding guardianship abuse. It is an issue that Dan’s readers should be made aware of in order to protect their own family members.

My beloved 84-year-old father, Peter Max, has been caught in the iron grip of a predatory guardianship in New York City which has ripped him from his family and loved ones, against his will, in the twilight of his beautiful life. Guardianship and conservatorship abuse has been in the media lately because of Britney Spears, and my father is now trapped in the same predatory, isolating and abusive system.

Isolation enables financial exploitation. My father is being held in forced isolation by two court-appointed guardians, and their unscrupulous attorneys who ruthlessly control every aspect of his life while they drain his hard-earned assets for their own benefit. These individuals are all strangers to my father and our family.

Our family and my father’s beautiful community of life-long friends created the #FreePeterMax campaign in response to this horrifying injustice. Since 2019, we have been privately waging a legal battle to free our beloved Peter from involuntary isolation at the hands of strangers; restore him his dignity; and allow him to be surrounded by his loved ones at the end of his life. After quietly fighting for 2.5 years in court, we had to go public and ask for help from the great people of this country.

At the end of my father’s life, he should be surrounded by love, family, friends, hugs and kisses, warmth, gentleness, celebrations, and everyone familiar that he holds dear. Instead, for over two years, court-appointed guardians have isolated my father like a prisoner and have cut him off from his family and the world. This is elder abuse.

After more than two years of extreme isolation and begging to be reunited with his family and loved ones, my father is losing his will to live. His health has steeply declined and he is being medically neglected. He appears dangerously overmedicated and we fear for his life.

How can this happen in America?

My father was born in Nazi Germany; he escaped with only his parents, with most of his family killed by the Nazis. He grew up as a refugee in Shanghai. My father arrived in Brooklyn as a teenage immigrant with a hope for the American dream and a love for freedom. The beauty in his art was his answer to the war.

"Suzin" By Peter Max
“Suzin” By Peter Max

How can fans of Peter Max offer their support in 2022?

I am sharing our family’s story of guardianship abuse with Dan’s readers, not only to fight for my father’s freedom but also to bring awareness and advocate for the millions of victims of predatory guardianship and their families who do not have the platform that I have. If this can happen to Peter Max and our family, with the reach of the Peter Max name and the resources we have to fight against it, it can happen to anyone.

Many of the ’60s generation, the original fans of Max art, are now seniors themselves. The shocking reality is that every senior is a potential victim of guardianship abuse. There are approximately 1.3 million vulnerable adults under guardianship, and over $50 billion of their assets are under the control of court-appointed guardians. The guardianship system exists under the cloak of protection, but corruption and abuse run rampant, and the guardianship system has turned into a form of human trafficking, enabled by predatory lawyers and law firms.

My father’s life and creativity has always been a celebration of freedom, which resonated with the ’60s generation who came of age with his extraordinary art. Ensuring our freedom is as important now as it ever has been. Please help us #FreePeterMax. We humbly ask for your help and for your solutions — members of the media, legislators, and beloved Peter Max fans and friends. Please join us in exposing this grave injustice by sharing my father’s story widely. Exposure is critical and we need your voice.

The Peter Max Studio and his website at petermax.com are fully behind the #FreePeterMax campaign. Many have asked us about sales that come directly from the Peter Max Studio — profits go to running his studio and to Peter.

Please learn more about the Peter Max guardianship case at FreePeterMax.com.

We thank you for your love and support. I’m so grateful to Dan’s Papers for this opportunity to share with you as we start a new year with hope. Wishing you and your families the most beautiful year of your lives so far.

To support the #FreePeterMax campaign, go to FreePeterMax.com. To learn more about Peter Max Art, visit petermax.com.

December 31, 2021 Dan's Papers cover art by Peter Max
December 31, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover art by Peter Max

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