The Sex Pistols’ cover artist Jamie Reid has died aged 76.
He created the artwork for several of the seminal punk band’s hits in the 1970s, including ‘God Save the Queen’, with his collage style still being copied decades later.
His gallerist confirmed to BBC News Jamie had died on Tuesday (08.08.23) and added he leaves behind an “enormous legacy”.
A statement from the John Marchant Gallery said: “We sadly announce the passing of Jamie MacGregor Reid 16 January 1947 – 8 August 2023.
“Artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, rebel and romantic. Jamie leaves behind a beloved daughter Rowan, a granddaughter Rose, and an enormous legacy.”
Rowan paid tribute to her dad on Instagram, saying: “I lost the most important man in my life yesterday, to say I’m heartbroken is an understatement!
“Thank you so much Dad for everything you’ve taught me over the years, when ever I see a wild flower or a robin red breast I’ll think of you and all the wonders you taught me about nature and our beautiful earth.
“I’ll miss you so much, always and forever! Until we meet again.”
Author and punk historian Jon Savage, who previously worked with Jamie, was among those who also paid tribute, saying online: “His ability to render complex ideas in eye catching visuals was their perfect accompaniment.”
Jamie’s landmark style used on Sex Pistols covers was known as a form of Décollage and also featured on the cover of the Pistols’ album ‘Never Mind the B*******’ and ‘Here’s the Sex Pistols’, as well as the band’s ‘Anarchy in the UK’ single.
Born in London in 1947, Jamie studied at the Wimbledon and Croydon art schools, where he met the Pistols’ future manager Malcolm McLaren.
His ‘God Save the Queen’ artwork featured a Cecil Beaton photo portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which had been defaced by the artist, placed on a Union Flag backdrop.
His pieces are held in major institutions including Tate Britain, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Houston’s Museum of Fine Art.
Jamie said in 2015 about his ethos: “Our culture is geared towards enslavement – for people to perform pre-ordained functions, particularly in the workplace. I’ve always tried to encourage people to think about that and to do something about it.”
His website described his work as a cocktail of “gnosticism and dissent”.
In his later years, Jamie collaborated with Shepard Fairey, the artist best known for the Barack Obama ‘Hope’ image, and supported the Occupy and Pussy Riot movements.
In 2017, he put out a version of ‘God Save the Queen’ artwork that featured Donald Trump with swastikas for eyes on a backdrop of the US flag, which he called ‘God Save Us All’.