Robert Mars’ artwork chronicles an evolving fascination with the Golden Age of American popular culture and celebrates the icons of the 1950’s and 60’s by taking inspiration from this culture long past. Through the application of a rich color palette and tongue-in-cheek attitude, Mars’ paintings evoke a vintage quality of design and pay homage to the idealized age of growth and hopefulness that was prevalent in the USA at the end of the Depression. A time before the internet and mobile technology, where information was not instantly available to millions and there was no such thing as instant internet celebrities, and instead people lived with the myth of the unique, untouchable and unforgettable personalities of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley.
By merging his own concept of personal idols with those of mainstream culture, Mars is able to focus his work on a deeper analysis of the Golden Age of American personalities. As an artist, he has always been fascinated with 1950’s and 60’s culture, and his early work reflects many of the architectural and mechanical icons from this era. Muscle cars, motels, logos and hulking monuments to the “modern” feeling of the time permeate his early canvases. More recently however, Mars’ artwork has shifted toward the culture of celebrity and he is amazingly attuned to the fact that these instantly recognizable and larger-than-life personalities continue to resonate with contemporary American culture.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, Mars begins the creative process by preparing his surface with multiple layers of brown paper in order to define the edges and delineate the background planes of color. He then alternates layers of paint and vintage paper ephemera, sanding away portions of the layers as he works, revealing the desired portions of under painting with the overall intention to provide the viewer with a muted window into America’s past. Chronicling this fascination with 1950’s and 60’s iconography, Mars has produced a body of artwork from his studio in New York that celebrates the commonplace objects and icons of an America long past, in a thoroughly modern and exquisitely constructed manner. His eye for a distinct facet of American history is impeccable and his ability to manipulate the color and wordplay of vintage printed material has earned him reference with the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Richard Diebenkorn among other masters from the School of Pop.
Robert Mars’ artwork is exhibited worldwide including museum collections in Munich, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Paris, Aspen and Naples. His artwork has also been selected for the upcoming Absolut Vodka 2012 campaign and he was also recently commissioned by Oceania Cruise Lines to create site specific pieces for their newest cruise ship, the Marina.
Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
CORPORATE AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Coca-Cola, Neiman Marcus, Philip Morris/ Altria, Coral Springs Museum Of Art, Monopol Hotel St Moritz, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Absolut Vodka, Oceania Cruise Lines, Microsoft, adidas, International Museum of Collage, Assemblage, and Construction, PRPS, Jeff Schaller, Jane Maxwell, Maria Contomina, ESPN X Games Division, Nike Communications, New Bedford Art Museum, Wade Ehrlich Design, Cherner Auto Group, United Legwear, Edward Belbruno, Elyse Walker, Jim Albaugh, New York Mets, Joshua Greenberg.
2016 “The golden age” Mead Carney, Porto Montenegro, Montenegro
“Days were golden” Evansville Museum, Evansville, IN
2015 “Boys are back in town” JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2014 “A Love supreme” The Harvey B Gantt Center, Charlotte, NC
“Mars Attacks” JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
“A Love supreme” DTR Modern Gallery, New York, NY
“A love affair” DTR Modern Gallery, Georgetown, Washington, DC
2012 “Captivated” Coral Springs Museum of Art, Coral Springs, FL
“Stars and starlets” DTR Modern, New York, NY
2011 “American Idols” Galerie Bartoux, Honfleur, France
“American Art” Museum Gallery of Modern Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
2010 “Lost and found” Gallery Brown, Los Angeles, CA
“Chronicles of America” DTR Modern, Boston, MA
2009 “Ruins and relics” Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
“Notes from the road” Hubert Gallery, New York, NY
“Diamonds and rust” Art Department Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2008 “Beauty in hindsight” Guestroom Gallery, Portland, OR
“Fading trails” Hubert Gallery, New York, NY
“Viva Lost Vegas” Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2007 “Gas, Food, Lodging” Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016 “Effervescence” Coca-Cola Museum, Atlanta, GA
2015 “Mars and Devine” DTR Modern, Boston, MA
2014 “The art of cinema” DTR Modern, Boston, MA
2013 “Ted x PDX” Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR
2012 “Year of the dragon” Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
2006 BraveArt 06, Vancouver, B.C.
2005 “Commons” Basefield Projects, Melbourne, Australia
24Fifty Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2004 Modart, Munich, Germany
2003 “From the ground up” New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford, MA August
“What is Compound” Rocket Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
“Into the void” Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
Modart, Munich, Germany
2014 Context Art Basel, Miami, FL
2013 Scope Basel, Basel, Switzerland
2013 Scope Basel, Basel, Switzerland
2011 Art Basel, Miami FL
2009 Art London, London, England
2008 Affordable Art Fair, Amsterdam, Netherlands