For those of us who hold tight to an outcome and wont 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. Dont even ask about it, you dig?
However, he definitely isnt 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. Hes 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 brothers challenges with a lifelong mental illness. The imagery wont be therapeutic to some many of the skeletal figures depicted in hell-like infernos arent 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 Phoenixs most-talented artists, painter/drawer Rachel Bess, at Perihelion Arts.
Fri., May 1, 6-10 p.m., 2009