Chris Mars made a name for himself as the spastic timekeeper in the Replacements, the booze-soaked Minneapolis post-punk band he helped co-found. But with rock stardom in his rearview, Mars has made a second splash in the art world. Tolerance, his first book, collects 159 paintings created between 2000 and 2007. Mars’ work is surreal and gothic, equal parts Tim Burton film, Tool video and demented children’s cartoon, with titles like “Fuck If I’ll Hold My Tongue” and “Miserably Obedient.” Tolerance also includes essays and notes by Mars, which helps to illustrate the evolution of his work from the deeply personal (his early work was inspired by his brother’s schizophrenia) to the intensely political (as the intro to a piece called “The Plea,” Mars writes, “Mother (Cindy) Sheehan at top is represented in all-out anger as her voice and her every breath relases the spirit of her fallen son Casey…Bush, yellow dunce, is at the center of the mess.”).
Tolerance is available through Billy Shire Fine Arts Press.