Thursday, March 02, 2006

Talking to a Rock 'N' Roll Ghost

Wherein I'd probably hang The Greeter in the front hallway.

The A.V. Club interviews Chris Mars. Yes, I read this primarily because I'm a fan of The Replacements. However, Chris does sound like an interesting person and I'm intrigued by his images and colors. Since I've always liked Hieronymus Bosch, this is not surprising. Maybe I'll inquire about pricing.

AVC: Your characters are reminiscent of Boris Karloff’s take on Frankenstein’s monster, in that the “monstrousness” might be all that’s apparent at first. It might take a closer look for it to sink in that they’re sympathetic creatures, not evil.

CM: I think that’s a good analogy. Sometimes I will portray the more normal-looking people as the monsters and then the more distorted—”uniquely formed” is the word I like to use, rather than monstrous—as the sympathetic characters in the painting. It’s interesting because some people will get it right away, but a common reaction is to be a little off-put by it. And that is the whole idea. If it grabs somebody in a negative way, that’s my intention. I want something that might not be so familiar to people, and then once they know what I’m trying to say, they will have a deeper understanding. For me, it’s directly analogous to people that are considered different or outcasts, and how a lot of times it’s just a lack of understanding by “normal” society. Once they get to examine things, they find out that people are just people.

AVC: My understanding is that you’re pretty much uninterested in participating in a Replacements reunion. But suppose that you got a call tomorrow saying “Everything’s set up, all you have to do is say yes,” would you be interested in doing that?

CM: I’m going to have to say no. Because I think to really do that right again it would take more energy than just sort of doing something off the cuff, and I just I think for that reason I think probably more than any, it’s just the energy it would take to kind of switch gears, I’m so immersed in what I’m doing right now, that I don’t even think I could get into it. I haven’t drummed in quite a while. And the way I work right now, I’m painting so much that I don’t listen to much music. Because music is another creative outlet, it’s a huge distraction for me when I paint. I’ll maybe put on classical music or jazz, something where there’s no lyrics or anything. I’m just very, very minimally involved in music these days, so I would just have to say no. [Laughs.] It’s almost like [I’ve led] two separate lives—through the course of your life you live multiple lives, in a way, and it does seem like that chapter of my life [in the Replacements] was kind of another life, and that I’m not living in that space. I’m in another place.


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