The Art of Jamie Reid

Jamie Reid is an English artist, whose works, featuring letters cut out from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom notes were one of the defining images of punk rock in the UK. Achieving worldwide acclaim with the explosion of punk on the 1970’s music scene, Jamie Reid worked with the Sex Pistols creating the iconic album covers for God Save the Queen and Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.


Born in 1947 and raised in Croydon, London, Jamie Reid comes from a very politically active family. The artist uses his creative voice to shout about the most contentious of political issues: nuclear weapons, racism, the criminal justice system.  Keen to highlight ways in which we can mobilise our energy and spirituality his work is collected by celebrities including Vivienne Westwood, Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Reid explains:


There have been two sides of my work – the esoteric and the political... I’m a druid and I’ve always believed that, much as you need a political change, you also need spiritual change.


Reid’s unique vision articulates and gives form to some of the key issues of our times. Responding to the ever-increasing attacks on our civil liberties and shared common spaces with passionate anger and savage humour, his best-known works feature strong vibrant colours on monochromatic photographs completed with a mismatched lettering.


No stranger to scandal, Reid continues to subvert the portraiture of political figureheads. Having collaborated with street artist Shepard Fairey to produce a series of powerful contemporary political images focusing on climate change and the banking crisis, political activism has, and continues to be the driving force behind Jamie Reid’s creative output.


If you like works by Jamie Reid, you might also enjoy Jess Cochrane’s feminine take on pop culture, whose use of gestural and expressive mark-making over the surface of glossy, flawless photographic portraits reclaims autonomy for the women she paints.

May 1, 2018
of 111