The Chamber of Pop Culture, London's premier transgressive venue, played host for the last month to The Impossible World of Stu Mead, a typically brave selection of the Iowa-born Mead's magnificently offensive story-telling paintings, drawings, and prints.
Berlin resident Mead's domain is that of mid-teens girls - regular girls or outsider girls - wandering through an outwardly American landscape, busy going through rites of passage and a few other passages as well. Mostly it's like The Four Marys on Speed. The work is amusing but it'd mean nothing if it were merely entertaining. It's not for the faint-hearted or the squeamish; a sharp edge gives it a provocative legitimacy.
Ghazi Baraka, writing in Apocalypse Culture 2, said: 'In many ways Mead's work has become increasingly offensive in recent years the sort only found in dark corners of porn stores... slides of his work were once handed over to the police by a photo development store in Minneapolis. A few weeks later, a police officer stopped by Mead's house to inform him that what he was drawing was legal, but that the matter was being looked into by cops specializing in vice and child abuse. Mead was forced to hire a lawyer, who discovered the cops were merely harassing him due to the subject matter of his work.'
Mead comes to life and sex with what seems to be an open heart and a healthy attitude. At first glance many of his images seem unambitious or lacking in depth but they repay closer examination because there is invariably a complete and satisfying narrative contained within each frame.
January-ish or so releases including Loyle Carner, Eno, Gillian Welch and more...
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]