Taking It To The Max
It's been pointed out to me that every so often I post about something that doesn't have anything remotely to do with film.
While that might be true, if you read the summery of this blog at the top of the page, you'll see that it includes the bit, "my experiences as an NYU film school grad student." And while certain experiences do indeed have nothing to do with film, they most certainly are the sort of experiences you can have no where else than in New York and only because of living in New York in the first place. The sorts of experiences where you end up at Star Trek auctions at Christies or, as in the case an hour or so ago, having a Vegan lunch with Peter Max.
Yes, that Peter Max.
Max's art work, which he dubbed "up art" or "Cosmic '60s art" defined the transcendental psychedelic movement, captured the imagination of the entire generation, and influenced much of the advertising design in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Max's artistic impact on the '60s has often been compared to the musical impact of the Beatles, with whom he was friends and with whom he collaborated on "Yellow Submarine."
My wife and I were invited to attend when a friend (and member of the board of my wife's employer) called to say he couldn't make it to a lunch engagement and would she be able to attend in his place? Somehow we managed to say yes.
The lunch was at Max's midtown studio. It was occurring in honor of Anousheh Ansari, the world's first female private space explorer who spent 8 days aboard the International Space Station this September. Part of only a handful of people invited to attend, Max unveiled a massive painting in Ansari's honor.
She was full of stories and impressions. He was warm and engaging. The best part of the day was when the official business was concluded, everyone was milling about, and we had the opporutnity to explore. This was not a space dedicated for shows, although it certainly was used for that and Max's artwork decorated every square inch of the place. This was a space used for creation and bore the mess, disorganization and cluter of artistic elbow greese. Here were canvases piled against the wall dozens deep. Here were tables with half-started projects. Here were the paint splattered floors that spoke with every misplaced drop to the santuary of Max's muse.
Not a bad way to spend a lunch hour, really...