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Jamie Reid
(1947 -)

Never Mind The Bollocks

SKU: 11124

A colour proof for an album cover Never Mind The Bollocks, 1977, designed by Jamie Reid, signed by Jamie Reid in pencil and additionally annotated with an OVA (victory and anarchy) symbol

Size:
Height – 34.2cm
Width – 63.5cm

DESCRIPTION

‚ÄúThe only real thing about Never Mind The Bollocks was that it had to look ugly,‚Äù recalled their late manager Malcolm McClaren. ‚ÄúWe came up with the ugliest cover we could think of; that in a sense would attack the idea of super-graphics. I wanted to make ugliness beautiful.‚Äù He wrote a short telegram to Jamie Reid, with whom he’d studied at Croydon College Of Art in the late 60s: ‚ÄúGot these guys, interested with working with you again.‚Äù

The son of  a liberal newspaper editor Reid had spent five years at the helm of a political publication called Suburban Press (sample headline: Save Petrol ‚Äì Burn Cars!’).

‚ÄúThe style of punk was something that was actually formulated a good few years before,‚Äù he explains, ‚Äúwhen myself and a collective of people in Croydon were running an anarchist printing press. The style of punk came directly from that. It wasn’t the pop phenomenon that interested me.‚Äù

‚ÄúIt all came out of that 60s art school thing,‚Äù McLaren remembered of the sleeve’s genesis. ‚ÄúAnarchic, nihilistic, intellectually looking to change life. Changing life meant being an outlaw. Being an outlaw meant being a criminal. And we thought that was something that artists and criminals have in common.‚Äù

The Bollocks sleeve combined its lurid colours with lettering arranged in the style of a ransom note. That process may have caused Reid ‚Äúenormous aggravation‚Äù, as the title and the contents of the album were shuffled by the band, but it fulfilled punk’s much-touted DIY ethos as succinctly as any of the three-chord anthems within, and was duly adopted by countless bands in the movement.

It was, according to Reid, “intended to articulate ideas, many of which were anti-establishment and quite theoretical and complicated” (although, at his more playful, the artist has dismissed it as “cheap hype”).


ART IN 1977

Yale Center for British Art gallery, designed by Louis Kahn (died 1974), opens to the public in New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Lucian Freud – Naked Man with Rat

Gilbert & George – Series of Red Morning works

David Hockney – My Parents

Naum Gabo, (b. 1890), John Nash, (b. 1893);  Keith Vaughan,  (b. 1912) and Se√°n Keating died in 1977

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THE ARTIST

Reid, Jamie

1947 –

Jamie Reid (born 16 January 1947 in London,  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”), “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun”

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.

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

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. 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 now exhibits and publishes work at Steve Lowe’s new project space the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell, London.

In 2009 following allegations Damien Hirst was to sue a student for copyright infringement, Reid called him a “hypocritical and greedy art bully” and in collaboration with Jimmy Cauty produced his For the Love of Disruptive Strategies and Utopian Visions in Contemporary Art and Culture image as a pastiche replacing the God Save The Queen with God Save Damien Hirst

He is also represented by John Marchant Gallery who look after Reid’s extensive archive.

In October 2010, US activist David Jacobs ‘ founder of the early 1970s 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.

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

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

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Jamie Reid (1947 -)
Never Mind The Bollocks