Peter has been working furiously to get new work to the gallery and on to your walls! Right now we have a new collection of works on paper and canvas featuring the best of the best of his imagery.
Please stop by or contact us to get first dibs on this fantastic artist's work.
Pop International Galleries
473 West Broadway
New York, NY
READ ABOUT PETER MARS
DISCLAIMER: THE WORKS OF PETER MARS ARE NOT COMMISSIONED, ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY ANY THIRD PARTY
"See a sign and you hear America singing."--Walt Whitman
Peter Mars has been the leader of Chicago's Avant Pop Movement for the past fifteen years. Combining avant-garde innovation with a deep Pop Art sensibility, Mars fuses and confuses the traditional distinctions between high culture and low art. The artist's sensibilities fall somewhere between Dada and Pop, "In that area where nonsense and popular culture so frequently meet."
"Leader of Chicago's Avant Pop Movement" Chicago Sun Times
Using the joy and nostalgia that can be found in everyday objects, Mars explores American culture, the passage of time, and the icons that each period adopts as its own. Billboard advertisements with years of old ads peeling through, outmoded wallpaper designs overprinted with modern icons, recognizable typography overlaps young female faces, antique Coca Cola logos juxtaposed with a fresh-faced Elvis --each elicits a multiplicity of American eras and cultural identities.
"Witty and excitingly of the moment" New Orleans Times Picayune
Much of Mars' work reflects the pop culture of his childhood in the 1960s and 70s, notably the idealized American family, comic book figures, and "space age" invention. In magazine advertising, product design, and television programming Mars finds a fertile language with which to work. To say that Mars appropriates these images, however, does not capture the rich exchange of ideas that takes place on canvas. These are dialogues, every bit as much "collaborations" as the work Mars created with notable "outsider" artists Howard Finster, R.A. Miller, Wesley Willis and "Big Al" Taplet.
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1959, Peter Mars began collecting at an early age: match packs, comic books, baseball cards, arrowheads, coins and later, motorcycles. Rather than striving to compile exhaustive collections, Mars sought "separate images of beauty," small treasures that "tell the story of American popular culture."
Using silkscreen as his medium of choice, Mars is able to engage his subject matter in a way that lets images "speak their own language." In juxtaposition, they agree or disagree, emphasize or interrupt, as if in animated conversation. The result is textured, complex, wry, and always more than the sum of its parts.
"A mixture of spiritual consumerism, banality, and resonant mystery" New Orleans Art Review
Peter Mars' work appears in galleries from coast to coast and can be found in the collections of: Nate Berkus, Oprah's Interior Designer, Sheryl Crow, Michael Jordan, Betsey Johnson, Halo Industries, Tow Records, Elisa Behnk, Former Director of Public Information and Marketing for The Carnegie, Warhol and MOMA Museums and Mr. & Mrs. John Heinz Waller.
Articulate and amusing, Peter Mars speaks with unassuming clarity about his inspirations, education and collaborations:
On images and objects:
Found objects are fun! "It was a running joke in our family that I never looked up. Wherever I was as a kid I was always looking down at the ground, looking for stuff--arrowheads, pennies, agates--I was always on the lookout for this kind of treasure. I still draw lots of inspiration from these things we find in our everyday life, things we see all around us."
The "space age":
"I loved TV shows like Lost in Space, and Fireball XL-5. I particularly liked the robot on Lost in Space. I remember how thrilled I was when President Kennedy came on TV and promised us that soon we would each have our own personal robot. I remember how he said we were gonna have robots to walk the dog and everything! I just couldn't wait to grow up so I could start to work with my robot. When that didn't happen, I was sad."
"Right away I loved the feeling of working with silk and ink and that sense of excitement never seems to fade. I love the high spinning sound you hear when you pull the ink across the silk. But most of all, I love that final breathtaking moment when you lift the screen from the paper and the image appears, as if by magic!"
"A master craftsman, who will teach you his closely guarded secrets, is very hard to find, so I was very fortunate when an artist friend introduced me to Dale Milford, a master printmaker working for the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center. Milford was the only one who generously shared his many years of knowledge and skills... he let me spend countless hours in his shop, learning all the processes and methods he knew."
Pop music--"In the past, I would go into my Chicago neighborhood where House Music and DJ culture originated. Music has always been a major part of my life and artistic endeavors. I've played in bands all my life and was heavily involved in the JUXTAPOZ and House Music Culture where I hosted hundreds of DJ events. With my art, I feel I am juxtaposing, sampling recombining, DJ-ing the visuals. To me music and painting are a lot alike and I think a painting can be as easy to understand as a song on the radio. If I like it, and it feels good to me, I want to hear it again. That's what makes it a good song or a good painting. To me, music and painting are a lot alike."
"Often I will dream about art and specific paintings will come to me in explicit detail. Other times, I'll receive an idea for a unique combination of colors... I often use meditation to get inspired and to stay in touch with my creativity."
"When I was living in New Orleans, I came upon a print by Alexander Calder that totally changed the direction of my art. I was drawn in by its big broad flat sweeping strokes of color. When I learned that it was a serigraph, I said to myself, okay, I have to learn how to do that, whatever it is." .