BY ED KOCIELA
July 10, 2009
Sometimes, the bright lights and sounds can be a bit much as you
troll Las Vegas, looking for something to do.
There is, of course, a hip side of the town that has tremendous
appeal to the Babyboomer crowd, with Carlos Santana on tap at the
Hard Rock, "The Jersey Boys" playing at The Palazzo Hotel-Resort
Casino or any number of concerts around town - from the upcoming
Jackson Browne show to the Cheap Trick homage to The Beatles' "Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The Beatles thing, by the way, is
also a big deal at The Mirage where Cirque du Soleil offers "Love," a
show paced to music by the Fab Four (see it) and The Beatles
Revolution lounge, "inspired" by the band (take a pass, go to the
If you want a taste of the real deal, '60s-style, check out The Art
of Peter Max, one of the most interesting shops in town, located
inside Caesar's Palace.
The psychedelic art of the '60s was moved to new levels by Max, known
for his bold, bright slashes of color. If, for some reason, you can't
register a Max flashback, imagine The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine"
movie. Max, contrary to popular belief, did not participate in the
psychedelic images for the film, but his work served as an
inspiration for a movie awash in walking statues, Blue Meanies and a
groovy visit with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
Max is known for his angels, hearts and peacock-like ladies in hippie
regalia. There are his tranquil boat scenes, the famous Peter Max
Baldwin piano and some more modern works that will blow you away, a
mind-boggling flashback to a time when you weren't afraid to flash
somebody the peace sign.
All of that, and more, is on display at his shop at Caesar's Palace.
If you've ever wanted to get up close and personal to these exquisite
pieces of history, this is the place to do it.
It will touch your soul.
It could also touch your wallet.
One of the Peter Max originals on display goes for $87,000. There are
other, less expensive pieces and remnants from his work that are
His work was far more interesting than that of fellow '60s art icon,
Andy Warhol, whose imagery was unique, but not quite as passionate as
the pieces created by Max.
His hip credentials are still in check and the work stands up today,
especially for serious collectors.
An environmentalist to the core, my favorite Max story involves the
liberation of Cinci Freedom, a cow that escaped from an Ohio slaughterhouse.
According to the story, the cow scaled a six-foot fence while
slaughterhouse workers were on break and eluded capture for 11 days.
"This little girl's will - facing the end of her life, being so
frightened, then taking the risk of all risks to live, to be free -
touched me so deeply," Max was quoted as saying, "It was so
inspiring. I knew I had to try to preserve that wonderful spirit."
Max donated $180,000 worth of his art to benefit the local Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to ensure the cow a long
life of peace at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
If you're looking for a little peace, or at least some shelter from
the storm, visit The Art of Peter Max.
There is no cost, but the return on your time is priceless.
Contact Ed Kociela at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 674-6237