Different Drummer

Replacements skin-beater is over the music, but the art lives on

For those of us who hold tight to an outcome and won’t let go until somebody hacksaws off our claws, we all should take a lesson from Chris Mars, former percussionist for the long-defunct, genre-defying band The Replacements.

You see, Mars is done with music. Period. Don’t even ask about it, you dig?

However, he definitely isn’t done with stirring and cranium-blowing creativity. Since ditching the drum kit, the Minneapolis-based artist has thrived as a killer painter of oil and acrylic works, some of which have sold for upward of $30,000. He’s also the author of a well-received book dubbed TOLERANCE (2008) that features monographs and essays packaged in an environmentally sound, fair-trade tome. And when he needs a break from the easel, he makes supercool video art. (Check out www.chrismarspublishing.com for the just-posted This Is Number 14.)

A majority of the oil-on-panel works currently on display at Perihelion Arts were created in 2008, under the influence of his brother’s challenges with a lifelong mental illness. The imagery won’t be therapeutic to some – many of the skeletal figures depicted in hell-like infernos aren’t beautiful in the oh-look-at-the-pretty-flower kind of way – but the work will reward the open-minded viewer. “My brother Joe's struggles with schizophrenia will remain a driving inspiration I think for some time to come,” Mars tells New Times. “For me, the themes that surround his plight are more far-reaching than I would have initially imagined them being. Ostracization, prejudgment, and xenophobia are unfortunately universal and timeless.”

Check out Mars’ exhibit alongside some awesome new works by one of Phoenix’s most-talented artists, painter/drawer Rachel Bess, at Perihelion Arts.


Fri., May 1, 6-10 p.m., 2009
 
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