Jamie Reid, the English artist best known for his work with Sex Pistols, has died at age 76. No cause of death has been given.
Reid designed the cover of the band’s only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistolsas well as the art for the classic singles “Anarchy in the UK” and “God Save the Queen.”
His death was confirmed by Reid’s gallerist, John Marchant, and his family, whose statement (via The Guardian) described him 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, who was born in Surrey in 1947, entered the Croydon School of Art in 1968, where he met Malcolm McLaren, future manager of Sex Pistols. “We were both into situationism and Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacleand would feed each other information,” Reid said in a 2018 interview with Another Man. “For me, Malcolm was the greatest conceptual artist of the 20th century.”
A few years later, Reid started a magazine, Suburban Pressusing cutups from newspapers, mainly because it was the most affordable option. It was around this time that McLaren contacted him and told him about a new band he was working with called Sex Pistols. The artwork Reid produced for them helped amplify the group’s message of defiance.
“When ‘God Save the Queen’ got to No. 1 it proved there was genuine opposition to what was going on,” Reid told The Guardian in 2018. “The trouble is that the people in control have made sure it will never happen again. Look at that last royal wedding. The media coverage was fucking unbelievable. There’s still dissent, you just don’t hear about it.”
Reid also made art for the world music fusion band Afro Celt Sound System and collaborated with the artist Shepard Fairey, best known for the Barak Obama “Hope” image. Reid’s work was displayed over the years at places like Tate Britain, the New York Museum of Modern Art and Houston’s Museum of Fine Art.
“Radical ideas will always get appropriated,” he said in 2018. “The establishment will rob everything they can because they lack the ability to be creative. That’s why you always have to keep moving.”
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