In the early 1990's Stephen Mead's poems began appearing in such journals as Onionhead, Bellowing Ark, and Invert, but upon moving to Provincetown, Mass., Stephen decided to concentrate more on visual work. It was in the year 2000, after moving back to NY, that Stephen started seeking publication again for both his writing and his art combined. Since, then, thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web, his work has appeared internationally both in cyberspace, hard copy, and physical Gallery Space. Often the writing has appeared along side his paintings, and at other times with the text superimposed.
In 2004 Stephen began experimenting even more with these poetry/art hybrids creating a series of e books, including the award winning "We Are More Than Our Wounds". From there Stephen began experimenting with his art and poems as films, at first creating slideshows with captions, and then doing his own soundtracks and voice overdubs. These DVDs are available through Indieflix.com In 2006 Stephen put this technology to use releasing a CD of poems set to music "Safe & Other Love Poems" (CDBaby.com), as well as two print editions of his image/art hybrids, "Selected Works" and "Tree Companions", a fractured fairy tale for adults (Lulu.com). Stephen has also released two novels, Hang onto Your Teeth & Where Time Goes, through Amazon.com.
In 2009 he released another mixed media title of poetry and art, "Our Book of Common Faith", (Amazon), an exploration of world cultures/religions in hopes of finding what might bond humanity as opposed to divide, in addition to a photography/poetry book "Notes from the Interior", (Blurb.com). Currently he is working on a film series entitled "Collaging Film" which incorporates live footage superimposed over his paintings and digitized images while using his own singing voice for soundtracks. He has again used this technology to release a new edition of "Safe & Other Love Poems" re-titled "Love Lullabies" and two CDs of narrative songs "Whispers of Arias" Volumes 1 & 2 (stephenmeadmusic courtesy Weebly).
Prints of Stephen Mead's work are available in various sizes and formats. Images are also available for publishing. Please see his links, reviews,exhibition and gallery sections for details on merchandise, then feel free to drop the artist a line. Thank you.
2017 Sun Star Lit, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpssunstarlitdotcom.files.wordpress.com201701sun-star-3-winter-2017.pdf
2017 The New Engagement, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpthenewengagement.comissuedigital-issue-no-8
2017 Light Journal 02, Dwell theme, One Montage Study for Dad, httpwww.light-journal.comrepresentative-worklightbox=dataItem-j75a3dy14
2017 The Artistic Muse Poehemians, Chagall the Sky, Poetry-Art Hybrid, httpwww.poehemian.compoehemians-featured-poetry.html
2017 The Afterlife of Discarded Objects, Altarpiece with essay, httptheafterlifeofdiscardedobjects.weebly.comfeaturedstoriesconfessions-of-a-dumpster-diver
2017 Caravel Literary Arts Journal, Nico Niek Engelschman, Pilgrim from Triangle to Bridge, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series
2017 Spill Queer Arts Magazine, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpsspillartsmag.comportfolioart-by-stephen-mead
2017 Din Magazine, Reflecting on Trump 1, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpsdin-magazine.orgmultimedia
2017 Spry, Water Angel Excerpt 5, httpwww.sprylit.comarchivesissue-09artwater-angel-series-excerpt-5
2017 Hektoen International, Strokes w CommitmentKnowing Poetry-Art Hybrid, httphekint.org20170531strokes
2017 Sundress Publications, Manticore Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, POWER, poetry-art hybrid
2017 A5, Average ArtMagazine UK, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series
2017 The Bitchinâ Kitsch, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpsissuu.comchris_talbotdocsbksep2017issue
2017 Aaduna, Exceprts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpaaduna.orgsummer2017galleriesthe-borders-gallery
2017 Dodging the Rain, Exceprts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpsdodgingtherain.wordpress.com20170630stephen-mead-from-nostalgia-through-now-and-beyond
2017 Not Your Motherâs Breast Milk, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpwww.notyourmothersbreastmilk.comhome201784from-nostalgia-through-now-beyond
2017 NYSAI Press, Staten Island, Reflecting on Trump 1, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series
2017 Silhouette Press, Here Comes Everyone, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series
2017 White Liquor, Almost All Wings poetry-art hybrid, httpssteemit.comart@whiteliquorpainting-poem-almost-all-wings-stephen-mead
2017 Bombus Press Issue 4, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpswww.bombuspress.comstephenmead
2017 The Stone Canoe, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series
2017 Black Scat Book, Le Scat Noir 229 Lost Found issue, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpblackscatbooks.netback-issues.html
2017 The Mystic Blue Review, LeavingArriving wRainbow Sleeves, Poetry-art hybrid, httpthemysticbluereview.weebly.comcurrent-issue.html
2017 Former People, Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series, httpsformerpeople.wordpress.com20171207five-pieces-3
2017 The Meta Worker, Water Angel Series, Excerpt 2, httpwww.themetaworker.com20171211water-angel-2-by-stephen-mead
2017 These Fragile Lilacs Journal, Lorelei wLorelei Aphrodite poetry-art hybrid,
2016 Junto Magazine, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series,
2016 Lover Man as Poetry Song Cycle video first released in Heart and Mind Zine
2016 Cover Art, Brain of Forgetting Magazine
2016 Minetta Review, Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series,
2016 Five Poetry Art Montages, Dance, Remembering, Greta Under Wraps, The Peaceful Hate, White Horse, in Scarlet Leaf Review
2016 Three Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond series,
2016 He Fills the Window as Poetry Song-Cycle video first released in Quail Bell Magazine
2016 Wallflower, with image, The Drowning Gull
2016 Three Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond, The Fem Magazine,
2016 Artist Profile with excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond, httpjesusinlove.blogspot.com201606artist-seeks-suggestions-for-lgbt.html
2016 Artist Interview, httpourqueerart.comstephen-mead
2016 Morning Glory Inversion series, Ink in Thirds issue 4,
2016 Excerpts From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond, in 11th TransmissionWax Poetry,
2016 Not a Still-life Triptych, Beyond Magazine, httpsbeyond.case.eduarticles7aNbpztrnot-at-all-a-still-life-triptych
2016 Excerpt From Nostalgia, Through Now Beyond in Star 82, httpstar82review.com4.3mead-treatment.html
2016 The Clasp Excerpts for Saved Objects, httpswww.instagram.comsavedobjects
2016 Promising that Brave New World Again for In Politics We Trust presented by BOFFO NY,
2016 Tea, Covens, Singing Scat poetry-art montages with interview in Shuf Poetry,
2016 Detail from Heart Series-in-progress, 8 - West Press
2016 Winter-themed images for Sediments Art Literary Journal, httpsissuu.comsedimentslitdocshappy_holidays
2015 Artifact Nouveau, Dishwasher re-take from States of Desire, States of Being, httpissuu.comthewritersguildartifactnouveaudocsan_fall_2015_2.1_final_draft
2015 Amygdala, Giving Warmth For Tyler, Montage Excerpt from Tyler Heiserman Family Series
2015, The Critical Pass Review, Summer Issue 2015, Rescuing a Painting from the Trash, Rescuing a Painting from the Trash, The Critical Pass Review Summer 2015
2015, A Quiet Courage, Of Faith and Ash, httpsaquietcourage.wordpress.com20150626escher-autumn
2015, Melted Wing Magazine, Three Muses Have I detail, httpwww.meltedwing.comfictionmuses
2015 Stick Magazine, Outreach Issue, Turing Excerpts, httpsdl.dropboxusercontent.comu38119451Issue202.420OUTreach.pdf
2015, Loveliest Magazine, Image for Anew Theme, httploveliestmag.comissuesissue-1photography
2015 Thought Notebook Review, Cover Image, Excerpt from According to the Order of Nature We too are Cosmos Made, httpwww.thoughtnotebook.orgissue-4.html
2015 Bunbury Magazine, Excerpts from FotheringayThrough the Maze series, httpsgumroad.comlBunbury8
2015 Stardust Gazette, Dark Angel Out-take, httpwww.thestardustgazette.comissue-2c4o4
2015 A U Magazine, Artist Interview, httpaumag.orgwordpress20150415stephen-mead
2014 December acceptance from Bluestockings Magazine, for excerpts from FotheringayThrough the Maze studies series
2014 Dark Angel film and image for Queens Mob,
2014, Antigones Map, The Compassion Project Anthology
2014 Images and Out-takes from Our Spirit Life, The Journal of Creative Geography, The Montage Effect issue
2014, Images for Switched-on-Gutenberg, Weather issue
2014 Potluck Magazine, Some short collage films profiled
2014 Impressions from the Land Of Beautiful Things 1, Indiana Voice Journal, Essay and Image
2014 ï¿½According to the Order of Nature We Too Are Cosmos Madeï¿½ Excerpts, Lime Hawk Review
2014 Image for cover of Four Quarters Mag, Big Love, Small Towns theme
2014 ï¿½According to the Order of Nature We Too Are Cosmos Madeï¿½ Two Excerpts, Wilde Magazine
2014 Inversions series Excerpts, Agave Magazine Published Fall 2014
2014 My Eyes with Our Spirit Life Excerpt, Chelsea Station Editions
2014 ï¿½According to the Order of Nature We Too Are Cosmos Madeï¿½ Excerpt, Cover for Enhance Magazine
2014 Image for The Picture Postcard Project, Inquire
2014 Summer on Seine and Sides, Catch, Catch the Angels Falling, Chelsea Station Editions
2014 According to the Order of Nature We Too are Cosmos Made excerpts, Outrider Review
2014 Postcard to Putin profile on Jesus in Love blog
2014 According to the Order of Nature We Too are Cosmos Made excerpts, cover and interior, Enhance Magazine
2014 Our Spirit Life excerpts, Buried Letter Press
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpt, Spry Literary Journal
2013 ï¿½Billieï¿½s Bluesï¿½ cover, ï¿½VerseChorus A Call and Response Anthologyï¿½
2013 ï¿½According to the Order of Nature We Too Are Cosmos Madeï¿½ Excerpt, A Jar of Queer Feelings
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Life Excerptï¿½, Compose
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Life Excerptsï¿½, Skive Farewell Issue
2013 ï¿½Postcards to Putinï¿½, art activism post card campaign
2013 Nature Show, Pine Hollow Arboretum, ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpt
2013 Two PoetryArt Hybrids, On The Rusk Magazine
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Life Excerptï¿½, Star82 Review 1.4
2013 ï¿½According to the Order of Nature We Too Are Cosmos Madeï¿½ Excerpts, mgversion2datura, erotic issue
2013 ï¿½Underwater Trilogyï¿½ excerpt Subprimal
2013 5 images Myth Theme, Paper Tape Magazine
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts, Spaces Journal
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts, Mixtini Mix
2013 ï¿½Thresholdï¿½ image in The Quotable
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts, South Florida Arts, www.sfaj.org
2013 ï¿½Swoonï¿½ painting, Glitterwolf Magazine
2013 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts published on Elbow-room, ayapublishing
2013 Work accepted for ï¿½Strange Glue 2ï¿½ catalog, ï¿½Collage at 100ï¿½
2012 ï¿½Lenny Van Goghï¿½ accepted for Tour Magazine
2012 ï¿½According to the Order of Natureï¿½ images profiled on Enlightened Male 2000
2012 ï¿½From the Sea of Mythsï¿½ excerpt on DiamandaGalas.com
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts shortlisted for photo essay contest, Pixelhose.com
2012 ï¿½Underwater Trilogyï¿½ excerpts, accepted for HESA inprint Apocalypse theme, Finland
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpt accepted for White Wash Dreams
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts accepted by Inkwell, ï¿½Lost Foundï¿½ issue
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ excerpts, TOSKA magazine
2012 ï¿½Green Man Before Tyrannyï¿½ accepted for Samhain issue, Hyacinth Noir. UK
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ images in IMPRESS issue 4, UK
2012 Artist profile IMPACTmagazine.us
2012 Pine Hollow Arboretum, Slingerlands, NY Nature-themed art again
2012 Two images, Citron Review
2012 Part of ï¿½Holy Livesï¿½ Exhibit, Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth, NJ
2012 Image, cover of Requiem Magazine
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ image accepted in Cactus Heart
2012 ï¿½Underwater Trilogyï¿½ Images published in ï¿½We Are All Japanï¿½ anthology
2012 Harvest-themed images accepted for HESA inprint, Finland
2012 ï¿½Our Spirit Lifeï¿½ image accepted for Pubscriber
2012 Artwork accepted for Artistica
2012 Broadway Art Center, Heritage Show, Albany, NY
2012 Drag series images, Revival Journal, Ireland
2012 Artwork, cover of Crack the Spine
2012 Our Spirit Life image in Rose Red Review
2012 Artwork accepted for Blue Lyra Review
2012 Images from Our Spirit Life published by Meadowland Review
2012 Art accepted for Strange Glue Virtual Collage Exhibit
2012 Images accepted for Indian River Review
2011 Pine Hollow Arboretum, Slingerlands, NY Nature-themed art
2011 Off the Rocks Anthology Cover Image
2011, Diverse Voices Quarterly Vo. 3 Time, Place, Place, Time Art
2011 Qarrtsiluni, Imprisonment issue How the Other Sideï¿½imagery
2011 Eiphany Magazine,Pandora Oceana Inverted
2011 da2011 Festival, at institut fï¿½r alles mï¿½gliche, Germany Our Collage Life Video featured
2011 Jesus in Love Blog Kwan Yin is Coming Painting
2011 ï¿½Reflectionsï¿½, Albany Public Library, Albany, NY, ï¿½Best in Showï¿½
2010 UNK Platte Valley Review The Inheritance, And Like St. Francis IV
2010 Front Range Review Diana Diamanda Inverted
2010 Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery, Kristallnacht Program Mercy, Mercy, Mercy collage ï¿½film excerpts
2010 H.O.D. States of Desire of Being art
2010 The Journal of Healing 2 Images ï¿½Eating the Woundï¿½
2010 Small Matters Show, Edward Hopper House Art Center 3 excerpts from ï¿½Underwater Trilogyï¿½
2010 phatï¿½Iï¿½tude Literary Journey ï¿½The Regal Headï¿½ from ï¿½Washing the Bodyï¿½ series
2010 Ruminate Magazine Threshold image
2010 Visual Poetry Mail Art Exhibit, Sky Lab, Ohio State University Libraries Angel
2010 Synchronized Chaos, Artist Profile
2010 litNimage, Artist Profile
2010 Referential Magazine ï¿½Davidï¿½s Driveï¿½ painting
2010 Pens for Peace Anthology for Haiti, cover interior art
2010 Artwork accepted for SpiritsArt Literary Journal, April issue
2010 Artwork accepted for ï¿½Make Art Not Warï¿½ Group Show, The Dead Presidents Lounge, Albany
2010 Winner Gala Magazine ï¿½Thou Art Luckyï¿½ Painting contest
2009 Artwork in ï¿½A River, 400 Yearsï¿½, Visions Gallery, Albany
2009 Work accepted for Davey Jones Gallery, Albany
2009 Art accepted for Romaine Brookes Pride Show, Albany
2009 Art accepted for Gay City Volume II, Vincent Kovar, Editor
2009 Work accepted for cover of Cake ï¿½Women of Colorï¿½ Summer issue
2009 Artwork accepted for Sunsets Silencers, courtesy Duotrope
2009 Work accepted for Fragile Arts Quarterly, Moon Gaze Publishing
2009 The film ï¿½Culturesï¿½ premiered in A Peace ofï¿½ Blog
2009 Art film premiered in The Smoking Book, Blog
2009 The film ï¿½Into the Oceanï¿½ accepted for Annemarie Garden Smithsonian-juried exhibit, Maryland
2009 Multi-media work Previewed in Blue Turtle Crossing
2009 Artwork premiered in Jesus in Love Blog
2009 Artwork ï¿½Walkï¿½ accepted for Anti-Poetry.com
2009 Artwork premiered in La Fusta Magazine
2009 Artwork accepted for Thacher Nature Center, Voorheesville, NY
2009 Artwork accepted for Black Market Review
2009 Painting ï¿½We Floatï¿½ accepted for the cover of Collective Fallout
2008 ï¿½From Victim to Victoryï¿½ Show, bjsartworks, Glens Falls, NY
2008 Painting ï¿½Mourning Flagï¿½ accepted for cover of Breadcrumb Scabs
2008 Art accepted for ficklemuses.com
2008 Photography accepted for River Poets Journal
2007 ï¿½Nudes Foodsï¿½ show, Bad As At Gallery, Albany
2007 Erotica Show, Romaine Brooks Gallery, Albany
2007 work published by international carnival of pozitivities
2006 film ï¿½For Christy Brownï¿½ shown by Slam Idol Podcast, U.K.
2006 Illustrated fantasy chapbook ï¿½Tree Companionsï¿½ accepted by Universe Pathways Magazine, Greece Later released by AuthorArtist via Lulu and Amazon.
2006 Not Stopping For Death excerpts released in Evolving Editions Illuminations Anthology, httpwww.illuminationsbook.com
2006 Quilt Suite excerpt blogged by Ron Hudson for International Carnival of Pozitivities
2006 work from The Arena series accepted by Shaun Levin, editor, Chroma A Queer Literary Journal, PO Box 44655, London N16 0WQ
2006 Two images from Picnic accepted by artist Sinasi Gunes for Global Warming show, Turkey
2006 Quilt Suite premiered at Digital Film Festival IZOLENTA06, St. Petersburg, Russia
2006 work accepted for Caladan Gallery, The Birth Of Worlds show
2006 Artist profile by Anna Trefoni at linkarte
2006 Weightless film now archived at The Department of Culture of the Vinarï¿½s Town Council and Hermeneia
2006 Paintings presented for Garden Show, Fulton St. Gallery, Troy, NY
2006 Image accepted for 50 States Project
2006 Work accepted for Bad As Art Gallery, 316 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY
2006 Work accepted for Dead Of Winter show, Upstate Artists Guild, 247 Lark St., Albany, NY
2006 work accepted for Re-flowering The Garden Women And Nature, Mill Pond House Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James, NY
2005 Weightless as a film accepted by httpaids.a-virtual-memorial.org
2005 work accepted for httpeurogallery.aic-club.com
2005 work accepted for Exhibition at Sand Lake Center for the Arts, NY
2005 work accepted as finalist for International Itinerant Exhibition M.I.A.D. Venado Tuerto
2005 two pieces accepted for An Advent of Art, North Pointe Cultural Arts Center P.O. Box 772 Kinderhook, NY 12106
2005 work accepted for httpwww.Gaias-Garden.co.uk
2005 work accepted for www.justicefortheworld.org
2005 Shadowboxing, new art for June Pride Month at Romaine Brooks Gallery, Albany, NY
2005 work accepted for httptsunami.a-virtual-memorial.org
2005 work donated to Art Saves Animals, The Mohawk Hudson River Humane Society
2005 Blue Heart Diary image accepted for Welcome, The Romaine Brooks Art Gallery, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY
2005 work accepted for Seeing Red II, Studio 8, Kingston, NY
2004 Artist Profile in Dystinct Art
2004 work accepted in One Shot, Albany Visitorï¿½s center, 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany, NY
2004 work accepted for Flashquake, httpflashquake.org
2004 E Book publication of We Are More Than Our Wounds newagedimensionspublishing.com Later incorporated into ï¿½Selected Worksï¿½, Lulu Amazon
2004 work accepted for www.a-virtual-memorial.orgterrormemorial.htm
2004 work accepted for Studio 8, 504-516, Broadway, 2nd fl, 8, Kingston, NY, 12404
2004 work accepted for Clifton Park Artï¿½s Caravan co Laura Thompson, Ed.D.
Associate Curator of Exhibitions Education at MASS MoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way North Adams, MA ...
Stephen Meads multimedia work Our book of Common Faith is a subtly woven but easily accessible montage tying together strands of many different religious/spiritual traditions and disciplines to voice a simple, but powerful message one evoking world peace and openness to the many layers of being.
The book, which is comprised of roughly seventy pages, beautifully blends together Mr. Meads colorful, particularly surreal paintings and photography with short, enigmatic poems that serve to both interpret the visuals as well as accompany them with crystallized passages informed by the spirit of many traditions.
"Our Book of Common Faith" starts off with a painting of two great hands seemingly cupping the globe, underneath is a short poem that consists primarily of questions, ones that concern the birth of the universe and which effectively establish western mans troubling dichotomy between the extremes of science and religion (From what gases did creation come/Did they belong to some god with looking-on angels/or, by accident, did star meld with star).
At this point the author offers no answers, and one enters the following pages in a proper state of wonderment.
From this opening page right until the closing lines, Mr. Mead creates a multi-sensory journey that quietly, but progressively introduces the reader to one religious/spiritual motif after another. Including fully illustrated references to Egypts Scarab mythology, the perennial importance of baptism, and the archetypal lost realm of Edenic innocence (Look for those treasures/Navigate their maps/in the golden time buried).
At times these themes are presented in ways that are startlingly fresh and it is in these moments that one truly appreciates the power inherent in the multimedia approach, witnessing the way in which the words and imagery reflect and deepen each other. As evidenced in the fifth plate, which so pristinely depicts the childhood joy of bubble blowing, while the poem below boldly states These boys are bubbles also, reminding one of the old Zen poets who were apt to describe all living things as soap-bubbles vibrantly reflecting light as they blow and burst through eternity.
Or in the instance where one turns the page to be greeted by two rough hands tenderly breaking bread, while the text underneath urges the reader, and perhaps the world, to Break now and cast your bread upon the current, a Eucharist for the gulls, a bounty of plenty to be shared for harvests and gratitude. A statement which in its own subtle but revolutionary way seems to be encouraging our often human-centric spirituality to touch again upon our primal roots; the body of Christ eaten not for self-redemption, but offered to the world, to redeem in our awareness our own repressed connection with the greater organism of the earth.
The book though is not all air and spirit, there is gravity too and it doesnt fear to hint at some of our worlds more tangible, practical problems (still in its own vague way of course).
The dirt of it is sacred in every land, especially with beginnings of fertility without toxins. The word toxins hits you like a bullet. After pages of the most delicate, sublimated imagery, Toxins breaks in with its mouthful of negative connotations and one realizes that Our Book of Common Faith is a call not only to open, integrated spirituality but to a renewed sense of ecological commitment.
There are far too many plates, poems and nuances to this seemingly simple book to be able to adequately contemplate them all in one review, but the book does have some crowning moments that deserve mention.
The first comes perhaps only ten pages from the end and it consists of one exceptionally dazzling illustration (depicting a phantom-like being surrounded by stars with robe flying open to reveal a vibrant yellow temple centered underneath) accompanied by the single question What, if not global conscience, can continue to lift the purpose of our gravity back to assisting light?. One reads this and cannot help but chime in with Mr. Mead in asking the question; what if not a shared love of the world, with all its diverse cultural and natural manifestations, will help us to lift the lonely burden of our lives back into the assisting light of the cosmos, what indeed?
The second of these crowning moments comes at the very end, when Mead seemingly makes his confession as to which forces will show us the way into this new visionary future, he says Imagination will lead us/Earth will return us with its Kingdome of familiars.
The way to this other future rests not in our logic, in our ability to divide and conquer, but through the boundary melding power of the imagination, and through a reconnection with the earth, with its many other inhabitants, our silent brothers and sisters, our loyal companions. The book rightly ends with a painting of one of these inhabitants, looking expectantly out from the wavering depths.
To conclude, this reader must happily say that the book works it really works. It is able to do what many so called multi-media works set out to do, create a collaborative effort between two unique art forms in which each component informs and enriches the others.
The paintings could most certainly stand alone (the poetry perhaps less so) but together they form a cohesive whole that more than fulfills the book's intent as espoused in the title, and one leaves the pages feeling as though they have really gotten a peak into what a book of common faith would look like if we could only work through our borders and begin to embrace the first luminous inklings of a greater global conscience.
Cheers to Mr. Mead.
First Amazon.com 4 Star Review for "Our Book of Common Faith"
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique and intriguing compilation, October 18, 2009
By Trudie Barreras - See all my reviews
I really didn't know quite what to expect with this book, but having encountered the author on a blog (Jesus in Love) that I have found valuable and meaningful, I decided to see what the book was like. I found it to be both unique and a worthwhile addition to my library. The visual images are well reproduced, and the poetry is insightful.
Sexuality and spirituality unite beautifully in the work of gay artist Stephen Mead of New York.
Gay angels enfold each other in glittering wings as they make love in Angels Consorting (see above). Another pair sleeps wrapped in each others arms with naked vulnerability in Angels Sleeping Unawares(see below). Angels are usually presented as neutered, asexual beings. Mead delights the eye and does great service by showing that the messengers of God can be erotically alive.
Both angel paintings are part of Blue Heart Diary, a meditative series about the universality of struggle, both global and personal. Like much of Meads work, it fuses art and poetry. The actual written work is over a thousand lines long with several hundred images spanning over two decades. A video sets some of the images to music, creating a meditative experience that is both soothing and thought-provoking. The angel paintings also appear on his DVD Captioned Closeness at Indieflix.com.
Mead presents a different view of embodied spirituality in Sponge Christ We Anoint You (see below). Taking care of a dying man becomes a sensuous, holy experience in the evocative painting. The work is a glowing embodiment of Christs own words, Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me. Both the anointer and the anointed become one with Christ.
In the poem that accompanies the work, Mead writes:
We anoint you.
Whatever modern day soul
Your skin christens
& the sponge, a host
For the innocence
Save the humanness
In being a triptych
Of vision, blood and bone.
Sponge Christ We Anoint You is included in Meads series Washing the Body, which is dedicated to the patients from Meads 15 years in the healthcare field.
Self-taught as an artist, Mead acknowledges that his art has been heavily influenced by both surrealism and expressionism. In the early 1990s his poetry began appearing in such journals as Onionhead, Bellowing Ark, and Invert. He moved Provincetown and began to concentrate more on visual work. He returned to New York in 2000 and started seeking publication again for both his writing and his art combined.
Since then, his work has appeared internationally both in galleries, in print and in cyberspace. Mead has done films, CDs and e-books, including the award-winning We Are More Than Our Wounds. His current project is Swan Songs, a film series that superimposes live footage over his images while using his own singing voice as a soundtrack.
Area galleries offer unconventional beauty, expression
Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Art is subjective.
Like clothing, art is merely an expression -- a way of speaking without using words.
Art that elicits questions on what it could possibly be, like a Jackson Pollack or a Wassily Kandinsky, is expressionistic.
The work is done based on not what the author sees, but rather, what they feel. Once you realize what feeling they are trying to evoke, you feel a connection to the painting.
I experienced this last week when I visited bjsartworks gallery on Lawrence Street in Glens Falls to view an exhibit on domestic violence. Although many of the pieces were mixed-media and unconventional, they were incredible.
A favorite piece of mine was "The Reclamation" by artist Stephen Mead. The work, which was an accompanying piece to another display, comprises paint, hair, beads, pearls, paint, pieces of sponge and a small doll.
At first glance, the piece was a little hard to read. But after stepping back and really looking at it, it was easy not only to understand but to also feel for the woman in the picture. It is powerful, to say the least.
I also attended the Third Thursday Art Walk in downtown Glens Falls. There were so many different types of art, anyone's artistic appetite could have been satisfied. Shows featured pottery, paintings and even work done by local children. The work was eclectic, but it proved the point. Even though pieces were vastly different, each one was beautiful to someone.
One of my top choices was an art display at Achenbach Jewelers on Glen Street. Artist Carrie Philon created labyrinth designs that she put on square blocks. The blocks were flat, and she designed the art to be interactive. She told me that by doing labyrinths, it gives the brain a chance to calm down and reduce stress. There is also a positive saying on the bottom, since Philon believes that people, particularly women, are too negative toward themselves.
Taking two minutes out of your day to do the labyrinth can change your mood and your outlook, according to the artist. It was an incredibly innovative idea, and I thought the pieces were unconventional but beautiful.
Later during the walk, I also encountered photographer Joe Kaye, who owns Laminate and Frame on Ridge Street. While explaining his photographs, Kaye said, "They can't tell you what makes a good picture." It's true. Art is made to be enjoyed by those who see it, and the definition of "good art" tends to vary based on the person you are talking to.
Just because a piece isn't an easy-to-recognize portrait or landscape doesn't mean it isn't beautiful in its own way. Next time you see a piece of art, whether...
Numerous private, corporate, museum, gallery and government collections detailed information coming soon.