December 2nd, 2017 – January 7th, 2018
Opening Reception: December 2nd, 6-8pm
Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “Quiet”, a solo exhibition of new work by Minnesota based artist Chris Mars. “Quiet” is Mars’s first solo show with the gallery and will include a group of paintings that carry on his artistic journey of documenting through visual reverence, those most oppressed and out-casted in society. An artistic path beginning in his childhood, eternally inspired by his schizophrenic brother Joe, and both of their plights through years of institutionalization and maltreatment, Mars salubriously heals himself and those who have felt the outsider as he paints a place, a glorification and a home welcome to all.
The incorporation of illuminating palettes and angelic lighting casts a new and unforgettable perspective on his subjects highlighting the beauty and exceptional qualities found within them as people. We are drawn to each personality and attribute of his subjects and find emotional connections through the artists instinctual embracing of pain, strife and most of all, humanity. Universal sentiments that make up and connect each and every one of us, reminding us all that attraction is subjective, and standards and place irrelevant, as the prejudices and judgments they hold, ineffectual.
Mars champions the dark horse through an emotional use of composition, strong sense of narrative and bright palette, offering the viewer a representation of the perceivably unusual but beautiful person found within the confines of their shell. Many of Mars’ figures find themselves transmogrifying with or are perceived monsters from pop culture, reminding us nostalgically of our tender ties to these sentimental stories and our abilities to look passed the physical form. Through these thoughtful techniques, a sense of familiarity and warmth is created, bridging the comforts of what is known with what may make some uncomfortable, to expose and celebrate the beauty in individuality and the unifying depths of the human soul.
Mars’s subjects are not quiet, overlooked or turned away from. Despite their oftentimes suppressed natures, the unfortunate feeling of finding themselves and who they are silenced, Mars through his paintbrush canonizes them; Each figure, painted in such majesty that you cannot look passed them and you certainly will not stop thinking of them.
ABOUT CHRIS MARS
Chris Mars was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1961, the youngest of seven children. When Mars was five years old, his eldest brother, Joe, was institutionalized for Schizophrenia. Memories of the archaic institution, society’s prejudgment, medical anonymity and famial shame had a profound impact on the young Mars, setting him on a life path of creative expression seeking to “…free the oppressed; to champion the persecuted, and the submissive; to liberate through revelation the actualized Self in those proposed by some to have no self at all.”
Mars’s work has exhibited in museums worldwide including Halle St. Pierre (Paris), Casa Dell’Architettura/Acquario (Rome), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (CA), Laguna Art Museum (CA), Ruby Green Contemporary Art Space (TN), Grand Central Art Center (CA), Haas Fine Arts Center (WI), Art Center South Florida (Miami), Ft. Wayne Museum of Art (IN) and Louisville Visual Arts (KY), as well as American Visionary Art Museum (MD), Longview Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Museum of Fine Arts Florida State University (FL), Minnesota History Center (St. Paul), Mesa Contemporary Arts (AZ), The Tweed Museum of Art (MN), Weisman Art Museum (MN) and Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN), each of which hold Mars’s work in the permanent collection.
Additionally an accomplished filmmaker, Mars’ work has screened at numerous prestigious festivals worldwide including Sundance, SXSW, Jerusalem International, Denver Starz, Palm Springs Shortfest and many more.
As founding member of the seminal Minneapolis band The Replacements, Mars has also been a Grammy nominee. Subsequent to his departure from the band, Mars released four acclaimed solo albums before dedicating himself full time to visual art. Now twenty-two years after his last release, Mars is releasing another album in November of 2017. All proceeds from “Note to Self” will be donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a Minnesota-based food shelf serving the upper Midwest.