The psychedelic painter Peter Max is caught in a battle between his second wife and his son. Mary Max has claimed that her stepson Adam Max has stolen $4.3 million worth of artwork that was gifted to her in a prenuptial agreement. The works have now disappeared from a warehouse.
Manhattan Supreme Court has now registered a lawsuit against the family member. Adam Max recently lost a court battle to have his 77-year-old father removed from the artist’s Riverside Drive apartment, where, he claimed, Mary, 48, was trying to “murder” the iconic painter. 85 paintings are now at the centre of contention in the case. Peter Max is said to suffer from a mild form of dementia, although he hasn’t been declared mentally unfit and a ‘Power of Attorney’ judgement has not ben instituted.
Among the pieces missing are “Liberty Head,” “Cosmic Runner” and “Lady in Red with Floating Vase,” Adam Max 51, has allegedly taken over his father’s company, ALP Inc and cut off his resources, forcing Peter to have to ask his son for “pocket money,” according to court papers. The case papers show that Mary finds Adam’s actions, “Part of a malicious campaign to punish her for seeking legal protection for Peter against Adam’s “undue influence and manipulations,” the papers says.
The suit is “part of Mary’s continuing efforts to grab assets” from her ailing husband, Adam’s lawyer, Eric Hellige stated. “There’s all kinds of questions about whether she’s entitled to this artwork,” Hellige told The Post. He added a neutral guardian, who was appointed by a judge to look after Peter’s interests, is trying to freeze the artist’s assets to prevent Mary from taking what doesn’t belong to her. Mary Max is now suing for $5 million in punitive damages as well as the value of the missing artwork.
Peter Max is known for his brightly coloured Psychedelic, Pop Art paintings his work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American art as well as collections worldwide.