Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Art review: Peter Max at Wisby Smith Fine Art
Peter Max is one of the Forever Groovy People.
The psychedelic pop-art of Peter Max defined my childhood aesthetic, and although I just dated myself with that comment, I will gladly say that I’m still a huge fan of bold colors, cosmic illustrations, hippies, and groovy people. When I found out that America’s pop art icon and “painter laureate” was visiting Dallas a couple weeks ago, I knew that Orange Boy, Green Girl, and I needed to hop in our Yellow Submarine and travel through the Red Cosmic Color Tunnel down to Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery for a little zing-zap zowie wowie, and maybe an autograph or two.
The impressive Wisby-Smith Gallery presented a fantastic collection of Max’s traditional paintings for observation and acquisition, such as his signature angels, astrals, and hearts, as well as smaller scale sketches of the Beatles. Mick Jagger was represented in rainbow colors, as was Vincent Van Gogh’s famous self portrait, vibrant and immediately recognizable. The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns football helmets were less impressive to me, but his infamous 10 Cent Stamp bearing the title “Preserve the Environment” and various never-before-seen celebrity portraits, such as Taylor Swift, were bright and engaging.
Taking note of how quickly the gallery filled with Max’s fans (and also noting the vast age-span), I grooved my way to the head of the crowd to shake his hand and request his autograph on one of my three vintage 1970 Peter Max and the Land of… books. Perhaps feeling sentimental, Max was delighted to see these books. He enjoyed flipping through them, reminiscing and showing them to others. Though Max was gracious and happy to sign my copy of Peter Max and the Land of Red, the gallery watchdogs would not allow me to take any photographs and also required that I first make a charitable donation before obtaining my prize. Max is known for charitable fundraising through his art, so I was more than happy to oblige. My contribution to the Human Fund accepted, Max autographed my book, the mob pushed me aside, and I saw him disappear like tiny bear cub behind a forest of smartly dressed trees.
Before leaving Wisby-Smith, I circled the gallery one more time. I looked at the familiar images and I thought about being a kid in the 1970s. I thought about moments like painting at the kitchen table with my dad and driving in the car with him while “Yellow Submarine” played on the radio. Clutching my books, I handed my ticket to the valet and smiled, silently thanking Max for being one of the Forever Groovy People, for the years of delicious visuals and for the good memories.
Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery, located in The Crescent in Dallas, is proving to be an impressive art house and premiere resource for high-end art appreciation and acquisition. The gallery’s collection ranges in works from such masters as Renoir, Dali, Picasso, and of course our friend, Peter Max. Check it out!
Pegasus News Content partner - Dallas Art News
See more stories in:
- Grab brunch with fierce ladies at drag event Sunday at DISH
- Looking for dinner and a game of bocce? Try Samar by Stephan Pyles
- Dallas Beer Kitchen promises "rare, hard to find" brews on Lowest Greenville
- Transit Bicycle Co. relocates to Lower Greenville
- Creepy rendering of Big Tex shows he's almost ready for the State Fair