When you think of the Sex Pistols and that era of punk and its can’t give a fuck about nothing attitude, it’s impossible not to identify it with the imagery that came with it: the safety pins, the ripped shirts, a shredded and pinned Union Jack, the Swastika eyes. Shock, hype and controversy formed the vehicle that was used to promote the Punk movement, and it’s not the kind of shock, hype and controversy the way a political spin machine spews its propaganda.
The media lapped it up, the public loved and hated it at the same time. The experience was all so new, so disgusting, so impossible, in Conservative stiff-upper-lipped Britain. There wasn’t a singular posterboy for the movement (though this can be argued) but there were posters. Fuck loads of it.
How did an entire subculture, era, become identified by this art? The art and the music and the subculture could almost be used interchangeably – such was the boldness and striking identity all 3 shared. Sure it started out as fashion, but there is no denying that it moved from frivolous fashion statement into something much more powerful, inspiring the legions of bands and artists spawned who went on to create other genres.
Who was the person behind these imagery? Why the use of cut and pasted words? Why the Queen? I can’t answer these questions but I can tell you that the artist behind these punk campaigns was none other than Jamie Reid. Perhaps this short 8 minute feature may explain the period and the art in a nutshell:
Jamie will be holding a series of public and private workshops as part of Fred 3 festival event at Temple Works Leeds, during which he will be meeting and working with other young street artists. Those of you eager to meet the man who singlehandedly created the face of punk, this will be a great oppurtunity. Fred 3 is part of a trio of festivals (ie Why Rush, Fred 2 and Fred 3) that Temple Works Leeds is organizing and it will be held between June 14th to July 14th.
More infomation and tickets on the Temple Works website.