"The little girls she knows insert pencils, carrots, and candles between their legs; they rub themselves against the sharp edges of tables, and they fidget about on their chairs" (transl. by Caroline Rupprecht). This passage belongs to the Dark Spring novel written by Unica Zürn, the collaborator of Hans Bellmer, in 1967. The pornographic images of Stu Mead (b. 1955) look almost like illustrations for this text about the sexual awakening of a prepubescent girl. Besides, his frequent depictions of piss and excrements involved in sexual games of little girls are recognizably Sadean. Still, several years ago, at the birthplace of Marquis, people created a petition to ban Mead's pictures.
Fig. 1. Showtime, 2006 (stumead.com)
Fig. 2. comicartfans.com
Fig. 3. Picnic, 2009 (stumead.com)
Fig. 4. 'Heil Dwarfs
Fig. 5. 'Kiss of Kalli ' (2015)
Fig. 6. 'Bath '
Fig. 7. twitter.com
Fig. 8. First Communion (stumead.com)
Fig. 9. Black Cat
Fig. 10. Bathroom (art.mirtesen.ru)
Reason For Making Art
The American artist Stu (Stuart) Mead received education at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he enrolled at 27. Collaboration with instructor Frank Gaard had a crucial meaning for his artistic development. The anarchic spirit of Gaard later allowed Mead to contribute to his Artpolice zine that was free of any censorship. As Lenka Klodová remarks in the preface to the collection of Mead's works published by Divus, it was Gaard, who recommended Mead "to focus in his art on what he likes best" because "one reason for making art is that it can make you feel good." Armed with this statement, questionable for an art historian but effective for an artist, Mead contributed to Artpolice from 1981 until the last issue of 1994. In addition to this, in 1991, they created a parallel zine, Man Bag, which was focused on sexuality.
Fig. 11. Dreams (art.mirtesen.ru)
Fig. 13. Zombie and Girl (stumead.com)
Fig. 14. Magician (stumead.com)
Fig. 15. Buttsucking Machine (stumead.com)
Fig. 17. 'Bathroom '
Fig. 19. 'Side Walk '
Fig. 20. Two Girls
Fig.21. 'Manson's Head '
Fig.22. 'Kinko the Clown ' (1991)
In 1993, the art gallery in Vienna chose several of his works for their The Language of Art exhibition. In the same year, Mead began producing paintings based on his drawings from zines. These works were exposed at Endart in Berlin in 1995 and provided material for Adam Parfrey's essay The Late Great Aesthetic Taboos published in 2000. The great scandals provoked by Mead's images happened in the new millennium. His First Communion (Fig.8) exhibited in Berlin in 2004 was destroyed by...
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Foreseeing all negative reactions, we just want to make an unnecessary remark at the end of this article: falling in love often is not less harmful than any of Mead's pictures, yet, it's not banned. Why?..
Sources: stumead.com; divus.org.uk;