Jamie Reid was born in 1947 in Shirley, in the suburbs of Croydon, UK, into a very politically committed family. His father was a left-wing journalist at the Daily Sketch and his brother became press attaché for the Committee of 100, the militant anti-nuclear organisation of the early 1960s. Reid studied at Croydon Art School alongside future punk producer Malcolm McLaren, whom he first met in 1968. Both were Maoists, driven by a need to attack the establishment and the institutional authority of their school; the Situationist International, whose programme of social change via a radical artistic and political action would culminate in the events of May 1968, was another crucial factor for Reid. He became a graphic artist, adopting the actionist vocabulary of the students whose demonstration posters combined silkscreening, collage and simplified lettering done with stencils. In 1970 Reid founded the radical community paper The Suburban Press in Croydon, as a vehicle for an English version of Situationism. In 1976 he was contacted by McLaren—then running the boutique Sex with Vivienne Westwood—to work with the Sex Pistols. He designed the group’s album covers, posters and stickers: ‘I saw punk as part of an art movement covering the last hundred years, with its roots in Russian agitprop, Surrealism, Dada and Situationism.’ His graphic palette, from cut-up letters to hijacked photographs—including Sir Cecil Beaton’s jubilee image of the Queen, used on the cover of Anarchy in the UK—drew on the photocollage techniques of John Heartfield and the cut-up/collage experiments of Guy Debord’s Mémoires (1957); this book was a collaboration with Asger Jorn, a member of the Cobra group founded in 1948, and bears the stamp of Jorn’s work and declarations of intent: ‘Be modern/collectors, museums/If you have old paintings/don’t despair/hold on to your memories/but bend them to fit your time.’ Reid made the aesthetics of sabotage the core of his visual and political strategies, with photography, at the heart of a ‘maelstrom’ of graphic procedures, also part of the subversive collage agenda. Reid took a photo, cut it up, glued it together differently, rephotographed it to inject a new reality and so slipped the seditious Dada spirit into infra-thin interstices.