Chris Mars' painting style, examples of which graced all of his album covers, is marked by nightmarish landscapes and grotesque, distorted figures. He draws inspiration from his older brother's struggle with schizophrenia. "...From my hands, my mission: 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. It's in every single one of us, somewhere underneath that word on our chest. In my hands, my version: All art is political in some sense, be it through conformity, reflection, propaganda or rebellion. My paintings are rallies and trials, photographs of a moment when Truth was made public, and Mercy known. Question why a villain is villainized, a victim martyred. Ask why a group is demonized, and the motives for control. See for yourself what the truth looks like in your hands. Dig it up and hold it for a while. This work you see, it's my Truth. But please don't take my word for it." Hardcover, color.
"Minneapolis artist Chris Mars is living proof that F. Scott Fitzgerald was dead wrong when he said there are no second acts in American lives. Though famous in the 1980s as the drummer for alt-rock heroes The Replacements, Mars eventually left the music world behind entirely to focus on the visual arts, now specializing in stunningly evocative, macabre portraits." -The Onion A.V. Club.
"The artist draws from the imaginary monsters his schizophrenic brother saw during childhood. It's hard to argue that these creatures could come from anywhere but the psyche of a tortured soul." -Juxtapoz.
"His paintings of ghoulish, skeletal crowds and beseeching wraiths, set in gloomy environments that hark back to medieval villages, seem too vivid to have come purely from the imagination. Mars' storytelling on canvas is almost classical in its precision." -The Rake.
"Scary and fascinating." -Jeff Soto.