O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Inside Outsider Girls

American artist Stu Mead is not for the faint-hearted or squeamish...

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2009
slides of his work were once handed over to the police by a photo development store in Minneapolis
by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2009
slides of his work were once handed over to the police by a photo development store in Minneapolis

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.

http://www.stumead.com

see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor

Joe Ambrose has written 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe is currently working on his next book, Look at Us Now - The Life and Death of Muammar Ghadaffi, which is an expanded version of a story first published in the anthology CUT UP! Visit Joe's website for all the latest info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Robotic Giraffes and Other Tall Stories...
Shirts off to David Beckham, (above) he's back in the World Cup.
Seventeen Big Ones For Sixteen
The most widely read stories published in outsideleft during 2016
Chris Connolly: Holiday Wish List
Chris Connolly's collection of short stories, 'Every Day I Atrophy' is currently available for Kindle and soon every other electric platform you can think of. Having washed his hands of that, he had a minute to compile a christmas list of sorts...
I Don't Know Why I'm Mad, But I Know I'm
Mad At You About It
Popular people, beware! Be Your Own Pet is about to spazz out all over your uncreative, conformist ass!
Laraaji: The Way Out is Still The Way In
Jason hears Bring on the Sun/Sun Gong and his life changes again
Wild Ponies: Galax the Great
The Wild Ponies LP Galax is better than most anything you've heard this year
Some of our favorite things...