Born in 1947 to a highly politicised family: days out included CND demos and anti-apartheid marches. At Croydon College of Art he met fellow student Malcolm McLaren where together they organized a student occupation in 1968. On leaving art college in 1970, Reid co-founded the radical Suburban Press where he developed his unique style of cut ups and sloganeering.
His iconoclastic defacements of pop culture and nationalistic images with ransom note lettering became synonymous with punk rock, and his most famous imagery defined an era: exemplified in the cover art for the Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks, Anarchy In The UK, & God Save The Queen.
Since punk he has continued to make politically progressive art, protesting against nuclear weapons, racism, the criminal justice bill, and the destruction of the planet. His socialist beliefs are matched with a deeply esoteric and pagan practice, advocating for spiritual change & harmony with nature, expressed most vividly in his abstract paintings.
His works are held in collections by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and London’s Tate Modern Gallery, among others.