Jamie Reid, the leading British artist of the punk rock era, best known as the creator of the logo and the author of the covers of the Sex Pistols albums, has died, the gallery that has been cooperating with him for years announced on Wednesday. He was 76 years old.
“We are sad to announce the death of Jamie MacGregor Reid – January 16, 1947 – August 8, 2023 – artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, rebel and romantic. Jamie left behind his beloved daughter Rowan, granddaughter Rose and a huge legacy. Universal Majesty, Reality “Love, Infinity,” wrote John Marchant Gallery on Instagram.
Jamie Reid – who was he?
Born in Croydon, South London, Reid studied at Wimbledon Art School and later Croydon Art School where he met future Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. In the early 1970s, before the formation of the Sex Pistols, Reid developed a distinctive style – his works of letters cut out of newspaper headlines resemble anonymous ransom notes. The logo of the Sex Pistols and the cover of the band’s first single “Anarchy in the UK” were also in this style.
Reid was most famous for his then-controversial cover of the Sex Pistols’ second single “God Save The Queen”. It shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II made on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of her reign, which was then celebrated, with her eyes and mouth obscured by the name of the band and the title of the album in the same style of letters cut out of newspapers. Almost a quarter of a century later, in 2001, the British magazine Q named it the best album cover ever.
Reid also created the covers for the Sex Pistols’ only studio album – “Never Mind the Bollocks – Here’s the Sex Pistols” and the other two singles “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun”.
His works include in the collection of the Tate Modern gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston.
Main photo source: Reuters Archive