So, several weeks ago my mom calls me and tells me that Peter Max is going to be in Cleveland. The Beachwood Community Center to be exact. Mom lives about five minutes from there.
She took a copy of my newspaper article talking about the sketch Peter did of me in 1986. A copy of the sketch was with the article.
Mom tells me there were hundreds of people waiting to meet him. He had a lot of paintings for sale. I guess he is on tour a bit like a rock band goes on tour to promote a new album.
It gets to be Mom’s turn to meet Peter and she showed him the article and the sketch. He remembered the restaurant he did the original in, but I’m sure he didn’t remember me twenty years later.
Before my Mom knew what was happening, Peter grabbed the folder she was holding and a picture of me and to my Mom’s delight (and mine too) he sketched a new drawing of me from my photo.
So now I have two likenesses of me that Peter Max did of me 20 years apart. The main difference was that I wasn’t there for the sketch this time. But leave it to my Mom to get the job done. I guess moxie runs in our family.
Peter has remained a well-known pop artist for many years. His style of drawings for the Beatles Yellow Submarine are some of the early art we all remember. Max has painted Lady Liberty on the White House lawn, been named the official artist for the Grammys, the United Nations Earth Summit and five Superbowls, and had his paintings on the covers of People, U.S. News & World Report and Manhattan's Yellow Pages-twice.
I remember Peter as a very nice, laid-back customer in the restaurant who just happened to be a famous artist as well. He had no airs about him and was well-liked at the restaurant. I’d say I waited on him about four times a week when I worked there.
Peter is now about 70 years old and has had a good, long run of popular art. He has also been very productive over the years. But best of all for me, I have twenty years of his sketches displayed on my living-room wall. They didn’t cost me a thing but they are priceless to me.