One of the shows that I have been waiting to see for the past few months is the upcoming solo exhibition of Chris Mars. The show, In Preparation of Barrier Transcendence will take place at the Billy Shire Fine Arts this coming December 12th and will run until January 2nd 2010. As Chris states in his bio “â€œIt is my intent to instigate the viewer to look beyond surface attributes be they attributes of my paintings or of society at large. I seek through my work to break down the tendency that exists to prejudge and to move away from xenophobia..â€ One of the things that draws me to Mars’ work is that he doesn’t shy away from the social and political issues that we are currently dealing with. Art is an effective way of showing the viewer what the world around them might actually be like, the truths no matter how scary they might be. Creating imagery that is so enjoyable to look at makes digesting these truths effortless. The show has over 20 paintings, a nice variety of larger and smaller 9″ x 11” portraits, one of which entitled “The Upriser” (shown first) reminds me of the iconic photograph of Sharbat Gula on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. I am a big fan of his smaller portrait work, and do hope that he one day decides to release a limited edition run of one of them.
Check out the full show here: Chris Mars @ Billy Shire Fine Arts