Saturday, March 8, 2008

Peter Max's Psychedelic Art

So we've established that I love Op-Art and optical illusions of all kinds. The philosophy of Op- and Pop-Art was based on serious ideas formed in the studios and drawing rooms of the post-war 1950s. By the time the 1960s rolled around, the art and design world were ready to spring bold, bright colors and explosive ideas onto mainstream America. And after the grey flannel, button-down repression of the 1950s, Americans - some anyway - were ready. One of the influential artists of that time was Peter Max. His art was trippy, spacey, and colorful. It was art for the masses - the new young hippie masses, that is. It inspired the look of the movie "Yellow Submarine" and even later in the art segments on "Monty Python's Flying Circus". To me his art just screams "1960s" in the same way the rock posters of that time do. He started out as a graphic designer, working on album and book covers, posters and advertisements. His art of that time featured spiritualized beings in cosmic environments. His creations were ubiquitous during the 60s - they were printed on everything from clothing to clocks to linens. He was one of the first artists to wed his fine art with the everyday world of consumer goods.
You can see a lot more of his art at
Here is an ad he designed back in the 60s:

1 comment:

Stacy Alexander said...

I got to meet Peter Max years ago at an exhibit in Aspen when I went there for New Years. Therefore, I am better than you are in every way. Wholly superior and special.


(runs away)