Not currently on display at the V&A

Jamie Reid archive

Badge
Late 1970s (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

During the punk and post-punk period of 1976 to 1984, it was fundamental to wear your allegiances, political or musical, on your lapel in the form of the button badge. Better Badges, run by Joly McFie, was the small business leader in manufacture of punk buttons, of which this is an example. He started a stall in 1976 at a Ramones gig at the Roundhouse, London, and became a fixture of the scene with a mail order service too. Jamie Reid used McFie's process cameras to produce artwork for single sleeves for the Sex Pistols, which were subsequently turned into badges by McFie.
This badge plays on the image of the Sex Pistols' management by Malcolm McLaren. It suggests that the wearer is controlled and manipulated by McLaren, in the same way as has been suggested about the Sex Pistols, also insinuating that the wearer is as debauched as the Pistols.
Jamie Reid's cut-and-paste aesthetic developed from his interest in radical politics. His artistic style developed while at art college in Croydon, where he was influenced by the ideas of the avant-garde political group, the Situationist International. The political slant to his art was aroused by the May 1968 Paris student riots, which inspired fraternal protests organised by Reid at the Croydon College of Art. These were directed with fellow student Malcolm McLaren, later to become the manager of the Sex Pistols.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed paper and plastic film pressed on to metal pin back.
Brief Description
Circular pin badge. White background with black scribble and the text "I'M A MCLAREN PUPPET". Printed paper on a metal backing covered with plastic. Jamie Reid archive
Physical Description
Metal pin badge with printed paper and polyester film cover. White background with printed image script and scribble in black marker pen.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 5.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • I'M A / McLAREN / PUPPET
Subjects depicted
Summary
During the punk and post-punk period of 1976 to 1984, it was fundamental to wear your allegiances, political or musical, on your lapel in the form of the button badge. Better Badges, run by Joly McFie, was the small business leader in manufacture of punk buttons, of which this is an example. He started a stall in 1976 at a Ramones gig at the Roundhouse, London, and became a fixture of the scene with a mail order service too. Jamie Reid used McFie's process cameras to produce artwork for single sleeves for the Sex Pistols, which were subsequently turned into badges by McFie.

This badge plays on the image of the Sex Pistols' management by Malcolm McLaren. It suggests that the wearer is controlled and manipulated by McLaren, in the same way as has been suggested about the Sex Pistols, also insinuating that the wearer is as debauched as the Pistols.

Jamie Reid's cut-and-paste aesthetic developed from his interest in radical politics. His artistic style developed while at art college in Croydon, where he was influenced by the ideas of the avant-garde political group, the Situationist International. The political slant to his art was aroused by the May 1968 Paris student riots, which inspired fraternal protests organised by Reid at the Croydon College of Art. These were directed with fellow student Malcolm McLaren, later to become the manager of the Sex Pistols.
Collection
Accession Number
S.924-1990

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record createdJanuary 7, 2010
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