September 13, 2009


This Monday, September 14th, I have the pleasure of airing my 3rd interview with legendary Pop Artist PETER MAX. Tune In to WFIT 89.5fm (Public Radio for Brevard) in Melbourne, Florida..or ON-LINE:

Below is the story of our first interview, and how we came to illustrate portraits of one and other. Enjoy (interview excerpts below too)!

A colorful brush with the “Cosmic Artist” of our generation!

by "Java" John April 15th '07

My anticipation kicked in immediately after I'd gotten the word that the legendary pop artist (and personal inspiration in my artistic style), Peter Max would be available for an interview on March 8th, on my on-line radio show The Acoustic Record!

Then things just kept getting better. Several days after the confirmation, I was told I'd be allowed to give up to 20 personally inscribed Peter Max posters to lucky winners tuning into the show.

Interview day came, and Mr. Max was wonderful and witty! After having been in the U.S. for over 50 years, Peter still retained a touch of charming German accent he was born with (born Peter Finkelstein) 69 years ago. During the scheduled 20 minute interview (which we stretched into a fantastic hour) Peter and I chatted about his youth, much of it spent in Shanghai, and how daily, from his family's pagoda, he peered down over a temple fence and would watch monks standing on huge sheets of rice paper with huge six foot paint brushes perform an entrancing paint-dance. What an introduction to the world of art!

We talked of his love of music, and how he can't paint without it, even enlisting a 'DJ' of sorts to play snips of 5000 songs at a time off an IPod for approval by Peter for his collection!

During our chat, Peter kept asking if I was coming to Boca Raton the following Saturday for his Showing at the Wentworth Gallery. I mentioned it's a two & a half drive south of us, so I would try to meet up with him next time he was in Orlando. Then at the end of the interview, he asked again, I said probably not, so he said he would 'visualize me there' and then I'd appear. I told my wife Jennifer this and we looked at each other, and knew we had to go!

The next morning after our chat, Tamara from Peter Max On-Line e-mailed me and said Peter had such a great time on the show, and that he would love to paint a portrait of me! Whew!! More about that later…..

When we got to the Wentworth Gallery in Boca Raton, there was a little bit of a line, but they were (rightly so) letting the folks who bought art, chat and pose for pictures with Mr. Max first. So we waited a while, and when he finally came over to sign my book I asked him if he had visualized a DJ there who would it be...and he smiled, shouted "Java John!" and gave me a big hug. I presented him with a portrait I did of him, which he seemed to genuinely like (he held it up for all to see!), then I asked him if he would sign a copy of it for my son Dylan (who's 9). He looked over, shook Dylan’s hand and asked if he was named after Bob Dylan. Dylan said yes, and then Peter said that had done a very popular poster of Bob in '68, and that he would love to send him a signed one! What a nice guy.

We talked for a few minutes, and then took some pictures while he signed stuff for others. Peter wanted to chat with me, but I told him that the nice folks of Boca were still lining up to buy his art, so he should attend to them, and that we could chat again someday soon.

Late afternoon on Friday (the 13th) of April as I was napping, I heard a knock at the door and a voice shouted “UPS” – I knew what it must be, so I jumped outta bed. Sure enough, the package contained a beautiful piece of mixed media artwork, an Original Peter Max portrait of me! Damn, it does not get much kooler than that! Thank You Peter.

Finally, I’m reminded of when we said our goodbyes in Boca, Peter told me that we should plan 'something special' in the future....well, if that what's you visualize Peter - I'm on it!

The summer after our first interview we were in New York City, and had the pleasure of visiting Peter in his wonderful Manhattan studios. What a rush! To be there with all those wonderful paintings I grew up loving.

Since then I tried my hand at doing a Max-style painting of my niece, and I reworked the portrait I did of Peter in color (which I will present to him next weekend in Orlando).
Meet the Artist Peter Max
Wentworth Gallery
The Mall at Millenia
4200 Conroy Road
Orlando, Florida
Saturday, September 19th, 6-9pm
For details call: #407-903-9055

HINT: If you pick up a copy of his book -
"The Art of Peter Max" at your local book store,
he will sign it and make a little sketch near the signature!!

SOME HIGHLITES from Our First Interview:

peter max interview '06 #1


peter max interview '06 #2


See Peter's art at:

1 comment:

The Max collector said...

I know it's a bit old, but I started a few weeks ago collecting PETER MAX's memorabilia and I came up with your images (yours and his) very funny, can I upload the info in my blog? If so, can you send me a little higher res images of both and perhaps what text you want me to upload. Regs,

Eddy, the max collector