World: Mary Max, Wife of Pop Artist Peter Max, Dies by Apparent Suicide - - PressFrom - Australia
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WorldMary Max, Wife of Pop Artist Peter Max, Dies by Apparent Suicide

08:00  12 june  2019
08:00  12 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Mary Max, Wife of Pop Artist Peter Max, Dies by Apparent Suicide© Mike Pont/Getty Images Mary Max and her husband, Peter, in 2018. On Sunday evening, Mary Max, the wife of the pop artist Peter Max, left a lengthy voice mail message for a friend in London with instructions for what to do after she passed away.

For the past several years, Ms. Max had been embroiled in a vitriolic legal dispute over her husband’s art, wealth and legacy, as he has struggled with increasing dementia. A stepson and household staff had made accusations that she had been abusive to her husband, and even attempted to kill him, while she countered with accusations that the stepson had “kidnapped” his father.

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But in her final voice message to her friend, said her lawyer, John Markham, she did not rehash that dispute. Instead, he said, she left farewell messages for people she loved: her husband; her closest friends; her brother, Daniel; and her 94-year-old mother, Ruth.

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The police said Ms. Max was found dead of an apparent suicide in her Upper West Side apartment at Riverside Drive and 84th Street at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The exact cause of death is under investigation by the office of the chief medical examiner.

The death of Ms. Max, 52, in the home she shared with Mr. Max, 81, comes in the midst of continued infighting in recent years regarding her husband’s legacy.

In May, The New York Times wrote about how business associates and his son, Adam, had taken control of Mr. Max’s studio, with the intention of increasing production using assistant artists even though Mr. Max himself had not painted seriously in four years, according to nine people with direct knowledge of his condition.

Mr. Max’s psychedelic renderings helped define the hippie aesthetic of the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, his brightly coloured works regularly sold for five figures in auctions, The Times reported.

Mary Max, 52, had tried to kill herself 'years ago' before taking her own life this week in the Manhattan apartment she shared with pop artist Peter Max, 81, amid a bitter legal battle with his children over the icon's fortune

Mary Max, 52, had tried to kill herself 'years ago' before taking her own life this week in the Manhattan apartment she shared with pop artist Peter Max, 81, amid a bitter legal battle with his children over the icon's fortune Mary Max (seen above with husband Peter Max), 52, who was found dead in her apartment on Riverside Drive near West 84th Street on Sunday, is said to have tried to kill herself 'years ago.' She was the wife of famed pop artist Peter Max (left). The two are pictured in November of 2017 Friends of Mary Max, the wife of celebrated artist Peter Max, have said she tried to kill herself 'years ago' before succeeding in taking her own life in her apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side over the weekend.

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Mary Max, nee Balkin, was born on Oct. 20, 1966, and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. In 1996, she was walking on a Manhattan sidewalk, when Mr. Max, already an internationally renowned artist and 30 years her senior, walked up and said, “Hi, I’m Peter Max, and I’ve been painting your profile my entire life.”

They married a year later.

Mr. Max had two children from a first marriage, Adam Cosmo and Libra Astro. The children had significant shares in Mr. Max’s studio, which is named ALP after his and their first names. He and Mary Max had no children together.

By 2012, The Times reported, Mr. Max’s mental faculties were beginning to wane and he struggled to create art. Adam, The Times reported, began to take a more active role in the studio.

Ms. Max became concerned and in 2015, she asked the Supreme Court of the State of New York to appoint a guardian to oversee her husband’s business. She told the court she was being followed by private investigators and once was stopped on the street by men warning her to stop interfering in the studio.

Ms. Max also told the court that Adam had taken custody of his father and concealed his whereabouts from friends and family, according to court filings.

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But Adam said in court filings that he was protecting his father from his stepmother’s abuse. In a transcript of a recorded conversation with her driver that was entered into evidence, Ms. Max asked about hiring a goon to intimidate her husband and damage his painting hand.

A judge ultimately ordered Mr. Max to be returned to his wife’s care, and appointed a guardian to oversee both his business and personal matters.

Mr. Markham said on Tuesday that any accusations of abuse against Ms. Max had been false and were deeply hurtful.

“It’s very sad that she could not convince some others that she was as dedicated as she was,” Mr. Markham said. “She finally gave up.”

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.


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