Gerald Mead is an award winning artist and educator who is well known for his highly detailed, small-scale collages and assemblages. He sums up his work in the following statement:
“I’ve long been intrigued by discarded objects and found images, regarding them as potent and poetic cultural artifacts. Acting in the role of a bricoleur, for years I collected and categorized these materials as resources for my artistic practice. The idea of appropriating objects, detritus and illustrative material and giving them new meaning through a process of recombination has historic precedents in the genres of collage and assemblage, however this strategy takes on new relevance in today’s society – a “remix” culture characterized by recycling, sampling, mixing and recontexualizing. This exhibition consists of several of my recent found object and image-based assemblages. Constructed with objects ranging from discarded books, antiquated photography equipment, medical slides and religious ephemera, many of them contain “enshrined” collages. The objects, themselves imbued with meaning, are combined with images taken from art history and popular print media to create a multi-layered web of metaphors. Appropriating (and subverting) these objects and images represents not only my aesthetic and intuitive choices; it also introduces a dialogue with the viewer about how objects and images are observed and interrelated and how strategies of recombination affect their interpretation. Finally, the intimate scale of my work is intended to encourage inspection of the complexity and obsessive detail and engage viewers in the act of decoding the metaphors and references.”
Mead’s artworks are in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, George Eastman House/International Museum of Film and Photography, Castellani Art Museum, Burchfield-Penney Art Center and Rochester Institute of Technology. They have been included in exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and in Australia, Great Britain, Poland and Canada and are published in two photography textbooks. He has received grants from the New York Foundation of the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. Major awards he has received include gold, silver and bronze medals from annual exhibitions of the Buffalo Society of Artists, a First Place Award at the Carnegie Art Center National Exhibition and a Fine Arts Award from Creative Quarterly: The Journal of Art & Design. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art, and is a frequent workshop leader, visiting artist in schools across WNY, guest curator and art exhibition judge. He currently teaches in the visual studies department at the University at Buffalo and the design department at Buffalo State College.