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Jamie Reid

Jamie Reid
Born 1947 (age 68–69)
Nationality English
Known for Décollage
Notable work God Save the Queen (1977)

Jamie Reid (born 1947)[1] is an English artist and anarchist with connections to the Situationists. His work, featuring letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note, came close to defining the image of punk rock, particularly in the UK. His best known works include the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols and the singles "Anarchy in the UK", "God Save The Queen" (based on a Cecil Beaton photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, with an added safety pin through her nose and swastikas in her eyes, described by Sean O'Hagan of The Observer as "the single most iconic image of the punk era"),[2][3][4] "Pretty Vacant" and "Holidays in the Sun".[5]

Reid's design for the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." poster—a ripped and safety-pinned Union Flag—is regarded as the pivotal work in establishing a distinctive punk visual aesthetic.[6][7]

He was educated at John Ruskin Grammar School in Croydon. With Malcolm McLaren, he took part in a sit-in at Croydon Art School.[5]

Reid produced a series of screen prints in 1997, the twentieth anniversary of the birth of punk rock. Ten years later on the thirtieth anniversary of the release of God "Save the Queen," Reid produced a new print entitled "Never Trust a Punk," based on his original design which was exhibited at London Art Fair in the Islington area of the city "[8] ". Reid has also produced artwork for the world music fusion band Afro Celt Sound System.

Jamie Reid created the ransom-note look used with the Sex Pistols graphics while he was designing Suburban Press, a radical political magazine he ran for five years.

His exhibitions include Peace is Tough at The Arches in Glasgow, and at the Microzine Gallery in Liverpool, where he now lives.[5][9] 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.[10] He now exhibits and publishes work at Steve Lowe's new project space the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell, London.

He is also represented by Isis Gallery who look after Reid's extensive archive.

In October 2010, US activist David Jacobs - founder of the early 70s Situationist group Point-Blank! - challenged claims that Reid created the "Nowhere Buses" graphic which appeared on the sleeve to the Sex Pistols' 1977 single Pretty Vacant and has subsequently been used many times for limited edition prints. Jacobs said that he originated the design, which first appeared in a pamphlet as part of a protest about mass transit in San Francisco in 1973.[11]

Reid has also been involved in direct action campaigns on issues including the poll tax, Clause 28 and the Criminal Justice Bill.[5]

His former partner was the actress Margi Clarke, with whom he had a daughter, Rowan.


  1. ^ Newspaper articles from 2005 and 2006 both stated that he was 53
  2. ^ Heard, Chris (2004) "Art and style of punk's shocking past", BBC, 7 October 2004, retrieved 2010-02-02
  3. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (2007) "Art anarchy in the UK", The Observer, 3 June 2007, retrieved 2010-02-02
  4. ^ Donald, Ann (1998) "The angry revolt into style; Punk's explosion still reverberates in the world of graphic design. Ann Donald catches the echoes", Glasgow Herald, 9 G=February 1998, retrieved 2010-02-02
  5. ^ a b c d Ross, Peter (2001) "Toxteth Shock", Sunday Herald, 4 March 2001, retrieved 2010-02-02
  6. ^ Pardo (2004), p. 245.
  7. ^ Savage (1992), p. 253.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Pistols cover man Reid continues to pierce consciousness", Liverpool Daily Post, 19 December 2005
  10. ^ "Sex Pistols artist announces exhibition", NME, 20 March 2007, retrieved 2010-02-02
  11. ^

External links

  • the aquarium
  • L-13 Light Industrial Workshop
  • Isis Gallery
  • Interview with Reid at 3:AM Magazine
  • Official clothing featuring Jamie Reid Artwork
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