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09 August 2023

Jamie Reid, Sex Pistols Artist, Dies At 76

Jamie Reid God Save The Queen
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Jamie Reid, the artist and graphic designer whose collage work for the Sex Pistols defined the punk aesthetic, has died aged 76.

His gallerist John Marchant confirmed his death alongside Reid’s family. In a statement he was described as an “artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, rebel and romantic. Jamie leaves behind a beloved daughter Rowan, a granddaughter Rose, and an enormous legacy. Universal Majesty, Verity, Love, Infinite.”

Reid was born in London in 1947. He enrolled at Wimbledon Art School aged 16, later moving to Croydon Art School where he met Sex Pistols’ future manager Malcolm McLaren. Reid founded the Suburban Press in 1970 which began as a community news sheet but soon developed into a political magazine featuring news of local corruption .

He became best known for his work designing the punk-defining early releases by the Sex Pistols: the pink and yellow text of their only album Never Mind the Bollocks; the God Save the Queen single sleeve, featuring a Cecil Beaton photo portrait of Queen Elizabeth II defaced by Reid; the smashed empty picture frame for Pretty Vacant; the torn Union Jack on the Anarchy In The UK cover; and a doctored comic strip for Holidays in the Sun.

His exhibitions include Peace is Tough at The Arches in Glasgow, and at the Microzine Gallery in Liverpool, where he lived. Since 2004, Reid has been exhibiting and publishing prints with the Aquarium Gallery, where a career retrospective, May Day, May Day, was held in May 2007. He exhibited and published work at Steve Lowe’s new project space the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell, London. Reid maintained an active role in politics through zines and other media.

Today, his works can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.

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