A new mural, a gallery exhibition, Cash Money Aliens Hits 500

Joey Mars comes up from the underground

PROVINCETOWN - The artist Joey Mars is a rock star whose work will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people when they stroll up and down Commercial Street. His 33-foot wide stage is Shop Therapy at 286 Commercial St., on which Mars' digital mural of his Cash Money Alien characters reflect eccentric shop owner Ronny Hazel’s wild life. Distorted faces loom over the center of town as a commentary on the twists and turns of the American Dream.

When Ronny Hazel wanted to redo the front of his building, he phoned home to Mars, with whom he's worked since the '90s. It took about six months to create, enlarge, format, print and install the giant adhesive wrap, known as "Ronny's Angels," which was placed on the building using a boom lift and then smoothed out. The mural, a mixed medium digital collage, uses sampling and distortion not dissimilar to the way early hip hop musicians filled the air with juxtaposed original vocals, sound bites and beats, has fans from all over heading to town to get a look a Mars' design in person. The figures - a three-eyed big lipped big cat-brain head, a sultry green girl who is back from the future and an ode to Trumpzilla - face the street as UFOs hover around their heads. Mars chose politically brash Cash Money Alien characters that fit into Hazel's dynamic life - his family, friends, lovers, employees and customers that make Shop Therapy an experience.

"There were always these dynamic, wise, strong, beautiful women around him through the years," Mars says. "The guys, sons, brothers-in-arms always watching out for him and learning from him. The law, the nova police, the grotesque creating obstacles to overcome."

Mars, who has been in the spotlight time and time again only to step backstage, has re-surfaced from the underground and intends to stay in full view - at Shop Therapy, where the mural should last up to five years - and in the art world.

Mars attended the Vesper George School of Art (as did several other icons, such as painter Salvatore Del Deo and his professor Robert Douglas Hunter), where he learned how to design and use color. His early work is influenced by Salvador Dali, R Crumb's Zap Comix crew and Pablo Picasso - he likens the transformation of his paintings into computerized collage to the evolution that Picasso made from impressionism to cubism. Later, he became inspired by Basquiat and Keith Haring.

"It's been quite a cool ride," Mars says.

Indeed it has.

After Vesper, he studied drawing at the Art Institute of Boston, where he made rock 'n' roll posters that stood out - his Lemonheads, Pearl Jam, Buffalo Tom and Grateful Dead posters have become collectors' items. And now there is an anniversary to celebrate: Mars' Cash Money Aliens comic strip that is available on is approaching the 500th mark. It's political, funny and disturbing all at once. It's his commentary on life in America, which began as a strip on on Feb. 22, 2016.

He's showing work that brings Mars back to his painting roots in an exhibition called "Facial Recognition," which opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 27th at the Woodman Shimko Gallery at 398 Commercial St. in Provincetown. He's taking that Cash Money Aliens graphic hard-edit collage feel and bringing it to the canvas for this latest show. Mars is using wet-on-wet methods with hand-drawn and stencil elements using aerosol paint inspired by street art with ties to modern expressionism - which he calls "graffuturism." His stylized surreal figures will take you into a world that you don't think you recognize until you realize that it reflects George Orwell's "1984," but with Mars' own 21st Century twist.

High Resolution Images folder on Dropbox:


Best of Cash Money Aliens folder on Dropbox: a fun scroll through 30 or so CMA's


Contact information:

To contact Joey Mars, email:

For press information, email Ann Wood:

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