Peter Max’s images were hot around the same time as Rosamond’s posters. They were Poster Artists. They cranked out posters like paper money. Their ship had come in. They ran lollypop factories. Everyone gets a sucker, gets to play in the Art World! It was like growing pot, but this is legal.
“From one seed….many highs.”
In 1972 Christine drove me to a mountain top in her brand new Cadillac, and made me an offer I could not refuse. She was going to teach me her style so I could be wealthy, too. She was not happy when I turned her down, because, she wanted to get me dirty just incase I discover the secret of her success. I was a purest, and a very radical hippie. I had no price. I still keep giving it away – for free!
Steal this book!
Rob me of my art!
Take my wife – why don’t you!
Kidnap my kids!
Here are the keys to my car!
From 1994 to 1997 there was a information blackout about Rosamond. Only after Sydney Morris sold all the posters and prints to Stacey Pierrot, did she put up a webpage. Three years went by before Rosamond’s fans heard a peep. Surely the time was ripe to build up Rosamond’s waning popularity. Sure the probate was taking long time, but, there was another factor. Morris told me the IRS was coming in for back taxes, and there might not be anything left of the estate. It sounded like one or both Bentons might go to jail for tax evasion. I wonder who that would be, the money-earning artist and mother of a eight year old, or, the husband who lived off Rosamond’s fame for years? Was Christine about to come clean – now that she was sober?
Christine had formed seven partnerships, one being with Lawrence Chazen who claims he was a victim of a ponzi scheme involving other folks. One could claim a hefty tax right-off if these rosy prints did not sell.
Did people lie low, until the IRS went away? Pierrot looks like The Front.
Snyder’s biography depicts Christine as the raging captain of a sinking ship determined to drive the Lolly-pop onto the rocks, taking everyone down with her. If the books have been cooked, it is her fault, because her mind was fried! Garth was taken on a harrowing ride, and was glad when it was over…..”and Drew is safe”.
And all the Art Hostages made their way to the gangplank with trembling legs.
“Oh it was just awful.” Lillian recalls. ‘Rosemary was shouting that Shannon was
late, ‘and ought to have her butt kicked.’ I don’t know all what she said after
that but she had her silver flask with her and it was getting rough.”
U.S. Charges Peter Max With Hiding Art-Sale Income in Tax Fraud
By DON VAN NATTA Jr
Published: June 06, 1996
Peter Max, whose psychedelic Pop Art of the 1960’s turned the artist himself into an art-world icon, was charged yesterday with failing to report $1.1 million in art sales to the Internal Revenue Service.
A Federal grand jury in Manhattan also indicted Mr. Max, 58, on charges that he bartered his paintings as part payment for homes in Woodstock, N.Y., and Southampton, L.I., and in St. John in the United States Virgin Islands. The indictment says he failed to declare the “sale” of those paintings on his income tax returns.
After learning he was under criminal investigation in November 1990, the indictment charges, Mr. Max and his accountant, Rubin Gorewitz, 71, tried to conceal income from the I.R.S. by faking sales receipts for the art that had been traded for real estate.
Mr. Max denied all charges in the 11-count conspiracy and tax fraud indictment, saying the agency had rejected his offer to repay the back taxes several years ago. If convicted, he faces 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In 1962 Max started a small Virgina arts studio known as “The Daly & Max Studio”, with friend Tom Daly. Daly and Max were joined by friend and mentor Don Rubbo, and the three worked as a group on books and advertising for which they received industry recognition. Much of their work incorporated antique photographic images as elements of collage. Max’s interest in astronomy contributed to his self described “Cosmic ’60s” period which featured what became identified as psychedelic, counter culture imagery. Max’s art was popularized nationally through TV commercials such as his 1968 “un cola” ad for the soft drink 7-UP which helped drive sales of his very profitable art posters and other merchandise. He reportedly appeared on the The Tonight Show in 1968. He was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine’s 9-5-1969 edition under with the heading “Peter Max: Portrait of the artist as a very rich man.”
 The 1970s
U.S. postage stamp, featuring artwork by Peter Max, that commemorated Expo ’74.
One of Peter Max’s art galleries, at The Forum Shops at Caesars
Continental Airline’s “Peter Max”, a Boeing 777-200ER
In 1970, many of Max’s products and posters were featured in the exhibition “The World of Peter Max” which opened at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. The US Postal Service commissioned Max to create the first 40c postage stamp to commemorate the Expo ’74 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington. July 4, 1976, Max began his Statue of Liberty series leading to his efforts with Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca to help spearhead the restoration of the statue.