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Mothersbaugh and Max

Two artists of international notoriety make separate Bay area appearances this week to promote their work.

Mark Mothersbaugh, formerly of the band Devo, exhibits his postcard artworks at Matthews Art Gallery, and attends a reception there from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 14.

Peter Max, American pop artist extraordinaire, signs copies of his new coffee table book The Art of Peter Max at Borders-Tampa from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 15.

Mark Mothersbaugh formed Devo in 1972 with fellow Kent State art student Jerry Casale. The band's name came from a concept that mankind has de-evolved, and the music — robotic, electronic rock with synthesizers as a key instrument — aimed at reflecting the rigidity and mechanization of modern society.

The video for the single "Whip It" was one of the first big hits on fledgling MTV, landing them among new wave's most influential bands, but Devo's message was missed, if not misunderstood, by the mainstream audience. A string of albums throughout the 1980s kept fans happy but never broke new ground.

For more than 30 years, Mothersbaugh has created postcard art pieces, something that began in his downtime during tours. Initially the postcards were essentially personal diaries that he personalized and mailed to friends, never intending them to be seen by the public.

For the past 20 years, though, he's created several a day and exhibited them widely. He visits Matthews Art Gallery on the Homefront Invasion Tour, a yearlong worldwide solo gallery tour.

The exhibit, curated by A.A. Rucci, runs through April 19. Matthews Art Gallery is located at 119 Hyde Park Ave., Tampa (813-259-0305).

The iconic Peter Max, popular for his cosmic 1960s style of psychedelic yet lucid imagery, is a versatile artist who's never met a medium in which he couldn't dabble. He's explored animation, printmaking, Xerox, sculpture, video, graphics, collage and all manner of painting. And his work has landed everywhere from museum walls to numerous covers of Life magazine to the first 10-cent U.S. postage stamp.

It's been said that in the '60s, he was to commercial and pop art what the Beatles were to music, and it's at least true that Max's bright, whimsical and socially-conscious expressions were able to capture the spirit of the times.

The book he's promoting at the signing is a 240-page, definitive collection of his work, ranging from early pop paintings to his recent expressionistic paintings.

Borders-Tampa is located at 909 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa (813-874-5722).

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