The New York Times recently chronicled how iconic Pop artist Peter Max not only created art for the 1997 U.S. Open, but also adapted and expanded on his original work for the 2017 tennis tournament.
In his official artwork for the 2017 U.S. Open, Max, who Park West Gallery has represented since 1971, reimagined his 1997 U.S. Open design. In doing so, he captures the passion and energy of the sport while commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
“The U.S. Open challenged me to give the stadium the energy rather than a player,” Max told the New York Times. “With all sports, it’s about movement, energy, and color, expressed through my brush strokes.”
The artwork depicts two crossed tennis rackets in a swirling sky of bright reds, oranges, and yellows, signifying the heated competition of the Open. Below the rackets is Arthur Ashe Stadium with its retractable roof, painted in expressive hues. The roof was added to the stadium in 2016 to prevent weather postponements.
According to the Times article, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) began the selection process for choosing the theme artist a year in advance of the tournament. It is a testament to Max’s talent and creative vision that his 1997 artwork left such a large impact to cause officials to select him once again.
“We could not think of a better way to kick off the 20th anniversary of Arthur Ashe Stadium than by ‘returning to the source’ and having Peter Max create another signature work that truly captures the power of tennis’ grandest stadium,” Katrina Adams, USTA president and chairman of the board, said in a written statement.
The USTA featured Max’s artwork on tickets, shirts, posters, and other promotional materials for the U.S. Open.
Sports and art seem like polar opposites, but they are actually a time-honored combination. Many major sporting events commission artists to celebrate occasions and athletes alike. Along with his work for the U.S. Open, Max has been tapped to create artwork for the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Cup USA, and the NHL’s All-Star Game.
Other artists represented by Park West Gallery who have created official artwork for athletic events include LeRoy Neiman, Romero Britto, Linda Le Kinff, Charles Fazzino, Simon Bull, Sam Park, Alfred Gockel, and Alexander Chen.
Be sure to read the NYT article and share your love for Peter Max in the comments!
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