Okay, I don’t do this often, because it’s just not my bag. But I got a press release earlier this week that caught my eye. Mostly because it was about Chris Mars’ new art book Tolerance: The Art of Chris Mars. But more than that it’s because Mars is going to have a book signing/reception on September 13 at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City California.
I think the thing that surprised me the most about this press release is that it was actually interesting. Press Releases are notoriously hokey and poorly written and, well, crap. But this one was good! So I will share with you some of the bits I found interesting, and then give you a link where you can read the whole thing, because I am kind.
Rock star, recluse, brother, activist. Artist. Chris Mars’ work graces the hallowed halls of museums throughout America and is tattooed on calves and biceps throughout the world. “Tolerance” is the long-awaited collection of his work.
Chris Mars was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1961 to parents Constance and Leroy Mars. He is the youngest of seven children. Mars’s eldest brother Joe suffered a so-called Nervous Breakdown in 1966 and was institutionalized at St. Cloud Mental Hospital. The impact of that event, along with Joe’s life-long struggle with Schizophrenia, set the groundwork for a life’s mission of championing society’s downtrodden and outcast. Mars hopes his work causes the viewer to question the nature of evaluation and labels, be it by investigating the meaning of beauty or by casting aside the exclusion of the meek, the forgotten, or the enemy.
Sure, sure you all probably knew that because you’re ‘Mats savants, but I am not. I also liked this part:
Chris Mars was once best known as a musician, being a founder member of seminal indie/punk band The Replacements and subsequently recording four critically acclaimed – and progressively more experimental — solo discs. His drumsticks are enshrined in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (emphasis mine, I didn’t know this. you guys don’t tell me anything!
His paintings are enshrined in the permanent collection of various museums throughout the country including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Erie Art Museum, The Longview Museum of Fine Art, The Tweed Art Museum and The Minnesota History Center. His museum exhibition history also includes The American Visionary Art Museum, The Weisman Museum of Art, Steensland Art Museum, Art Center South Florida and soon The Phipps Center for the Arts.
Anyway, y’all can read the whole thing here. And if you’re in or around Culver City, CA you should go to the signing and then report back about how fabulous it was.