Former Replacements Drummer, Artist and Author
Punk Globe: First off thank you for letting me question you for Punk Globe readers.So I got your book "Tolerance" in the mail today and I was utterly in "awe" of the art you've done.Who or what is your biggest inspiration for the book?
Chris Mars: Thank you for your kind feedback, I appreciate it. My brother's life and the lives of those like him continue to inspire me. But I have found is that this experience, this perspective has connected me to injustices suffered in a more global sense, by so many people - presently and throughout history. I am dumbfounded by the horrific tendencies of the human animal and at the same time amazed at people's courage and commitment to bring about change for a better world.
Punk Globe: I read that your brother had Schizophrenia, did any of your experiences with him contribute to your surreal art?
Chris Mars: Yes my brother's life is an inspiration. I see him on a regular basis and I try to empathize with what it must be like from his perspective. When I do this with him and with people like him who have had to shoulder burdens of various kinds, It keeps me in touch with my own expression of these themes through the therapy of painting.
Punk Globe: What would you like,Chris to be able to do with your art work? any major impressions you want to make?..if so what are they?
Chris Mars: My approach has always been to express through drawing and painting what is my own truth according to how I perceive the world around me and how I am feeling in relation to it. The medium of paint, color, surface and composition are the technical means by which to get these feelings out. I do this for myself first and foremost. As a communication tool, I am grateful if anyone at all connects with it. But my first priority is to make something that I want to see and that hopefully might stand up over time.
Chris Mars: I have always loved bones and skulls for the pure aesthetics but I think for me they are also a reminder of a spent life, and so are a good reminder to be as certain as possible to spend a life productively, and to utilize whatever talent I have.
Punk Globe: You've also been compared to Mark Ryden who is also a wonderful artist how much of what he does influences you if at all?
Chris Mars: I think Mark's work is great. Stylistically and subject wise we may differ a bit though I love his imagery, technique and dedication. He pushes the envelope and I admire him and others who do so.
Punk Globe: I read that you are a fan of Andy Warhol,what is your favorite piece by him?
Chris Mars: It is hard to name a favorite but what I love about Warhol is his conceptual brilliance, his ideas about what art means and the discussion that arises from his conceptualism. Beyond this, to see his work in person is to witness his great ability as a colorist and aesthetic technician.
Punk Globe: Your blurbs in the book describing the images are very poetic,ever read or write poetry or are you just an unnoticed great writer?
Chris Mars: Thank you. That is very kind of you to say. If I just sat down to write I'm not as sure as to how it would turn out. It is helpful for me to refer to notes taken during the course of making a painting, to further get inside the spirit of a finished work. This is helpful in propelling the writing.
Punk Globe: Weirdest fan experience?
Chris Mars: One person requested a poop sample. No, seriously I can't think of anything too weird, most everyone has been gracious.
Punk Globe: What was your most noble moment during the book process?
Chris Mars: Receiving the first copy off the press and cracking it to the page where it says "For Sally". This was the highlight of the whole process. I dedicated the book to my wife, who is another great source of inspiration.
Punk Globe: I've also read you are out to seek the truth...what IS the truth to you or have you even found it?
Chris Mars: With the truth being subjective, I can only hope to get as close to my own version of it as possible. It's important to be flexible enough to respect that a perspective of "truth" can change. At any given time I can only react to various oppressions or good deeds witnessed. I attempt to get to the source of corruption and injustices committed past or present on scales large and small. The positive accomplishments in the face of the horrific is what continues to inspire and give hope. The best I can do is try to run all this through my own filter and try to learn from it.
Punk Globe: Why in your own words do you think Punk Globe readers should buy your book?
Chris Mars: Well I put my heart into it and I like how it turned out so maybe someone else can get something out of it as well.
Chris Mars: It was Important for me to put some thought into the resources and labor practices required to make the book. It's my drop in the bucket. I don't want to judge how others go about it but if I can give pause to consider a more environmental option of production maybe those drops end up a bucket.
Punk Globe: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Chris Mars: Otto Dix.
Punk Globe: And last but not least, any more books in the future from you MR. MARS?
Chris Mars: There was a good number of paintings left out this go-around not for and quality reasons but for proper flow of the book. Also with new works since then and other mediums previously left out, I would love to put another book together at some point. I think it will happen.
Chris Mars: Punk Rules!