Although Reid is known primarily for the deployment of Situationist strategies in his iconic work for the Sex Pistols and Suburban Press, the manifold strands of his art both continue that work whilst showing us other ways in which we can mobilise our energy and spirituality. It is this dialectic between gnosticism and dissent that lies at the heart of Reid’s practice and makes him one of the great English iconoclastic artists.
Jamie Reid’s unique vision articulates and gives form to some of the key issues of our times. He responds to the ever-increasing attacks on our civil liberties and shared common spaces with passionate anger and savage humour, and shows us ways in which we might re-organise our political and spiritual resources. This is the role of the shaman and Reid’s art acts like a lightning rod, returning us to the earth so that we might share the work of healing. His gallerist, John Marchant, writes:
“In 1997 I was asked to organise a full scale retrospective of Jamie Reid’s work in New York City. I’d never met Jamie before and as we started to get things together it quickly struck me how this was a man of conviction and wisdom, possessing a wide breadth of knowledge that encompassed social politics, esoteric sprirituality, astronomy, free jazz and Fulham FC. It was also immediately clear that this was a man who relished a collaboration – seeing what happened when the rein was loosened. That first exhibition was called Peace Is Tough. Over the years we have met in various parts of the world and Jamie has always charmed me with his modesty, honesty, integrety and talent.
Of course he is notorious for his work with the Sex Pistols in the mid to late-seventies, but there is so much more than this. His work with the Suburban Press was an early coalescing of his political drive and artistic ‘nous’ and his work after the implosion of the Pistols extended his artistic drive through many genres – music, publishing, performance. His work is a spectrum with many unseen hues and it is our pleasure to journey through these works in presenting and safeguarding the Jamie Reid Archive. After a ten year installation period with the Strongroom Studios in Shoreditch he is now immersed in discovering and revealing the Aspects of the Eightfold Year.”
Here is a video of the presentation John Marchant gave on Jamie at the Order’s Summer Gathering in Glastonbury in 2016: