Robert Mars

Hollywood icons, American dreams

Art page: Femme Fatale by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 52 x 40 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery. Above: Richest Most Complete by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 40 x 60 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.

    BY: Liz MacDonald

    Friday, February 24, 2017

At first glance, the work of Robert Mars delivers a bold statement—large scale pop images, iconic celebrities and the emblems of American success laid out in appealing and seductive compositions. But look closer, and just behind these glamorous, fascinating images lies a quieter commentary, laser-sharp critiques of the constructs of celebrity, luxury and our idea of success, wealth and sex appeal as they relate to contemporary culture. Mars assembles gorgeous images that pay homage to the American Dream while at the same time, he whispers to us that it’s all a fantasy, an illusion ultimately for sale at a certain price.

The faces of celebrity and glamour in Mars’ aesthetic are impossible to resist. His images resonate with all the charisma and star power of Hollywood’s Golden Age, a time when the myth of the Hollywood icon was at its most seductive. Mars juxtaposes these famous faces with instantly recognizable symbols of luxury, commerce and fashion from vintage media, for layers of meaning that manage to critique and subvert while still celebrating the power and charisma of these larger-than-life stars.

Maybe it’s his prior expertise in commercial graphic design, but above all the work of Robert Mars presents the viewer with sophisticated and surprising images that distill the allure of American iconography with flawless execution. Take a look for yourself—we’ve collected a few of our very favorite Robert Mars Hollywood images, above and below.

 

Golden Age by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 50 x 40 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.
Golden Age by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 50 x 40 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.

 

Stay Gold by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 40 x 60 inches.
Stay Gold by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 40 x 60 inches.

 

Legend Has It by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 45 x 45 inches.
Legend Has It by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 45 x 45 inches.

 

Sacred Vision by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 35 x 70 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.
Sacred Vision by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 35 x 70 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.

 

Long Distance Man by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 44 x 44 inches. Courtesy of the Evansville Museum.
Long Distance Man by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 44 x 44 inches. Courtesy of the Evansville Museum.

 

Hearts Alive by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 46 x 66 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.
Hearts Alive by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 46 x 66 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.

 

Femme Fatale by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 52 x 40 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.
Femme Fatale by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin with neon tubing, 52 x 40 inches. Courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.

 

Tonight the Sky by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 35 x 70 inches.
Tonight the Sky by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 35 x 70 inches.

 

Sunshine by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 40 x 40 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.
Sunshine by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 40 x 40 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.

 

Her Spirit Bubbles by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 46 x 66 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.
Her Spirit Bubbles by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 46 x 66 inches. Courtesy of DTR Modern.

 

Backwards with Time by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 55 x 42 inches.
Backwards with Time by Robert Mars. Mixed media on wood panel with epoxy resin, 55 x 42 inches.