LEE SCRATCH PERRY: Secret Education
Saturday, November 13th – Saturday December 11th, 2010 Opening Reception: Saturday, November 13th, from 7 to 10pm
7914-B SANTA MONICA BLVD WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90046
T. 310.497.5217 F. 323.965.5243
DEM PASSWORDS is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of paintings, drawings and video by Lee "Scratch" Perry.
A music powerhouse since the 1960s, Lee Perry began adorning his Black Ark home studio walls in the 1970s with writings, paintings and pasted elements alongside and over the work of invited muralists. When music production at his home ceased in 1978, Perry turned exclusively to visual art, building found-object sculptures in his yard and covering every remaining surface both inside and outside of his home with spiritual graffiti. In the 1980s, Perry added photography and video to the mix and began styling his wardrobe with mirrors and other objects of private spiritual significance in a practice which continues today.
Created between 2007 and 2010, Secret Education offers the first glimpse into the advanced state of the visual language Perry has pursued for the last five decades. With paintings extending out of his legacy as a songwriter and layered in the spirit of his 4-track studio masterworks, Perry incorporates the vibrant color palette of the Rastafarians, sometimes invoking the power of a West Indian form of black magic known as Obeah and referencing holy texts alongside comic strip superheroes.
His singular style is the nexus of a highly personal brand of Christian mysticism and a Pop world he is in part responsible for creating. Made with a ritualistic precision and and a quality of purpose that defies his reputation as a madman, this first exhibition of works by Lee "Scratch" Perry marks a watershed moment in the timeline of one of the 20th century's most celebrated creative figures.
Lee "Scratch" Perry was born in Kendal, Jamaica on March 20, 1936. As a key architect of the Jamaican music explosion, Perry crafted the sounds, gathered the artists and infused Reggae's top performers and foremost figures with the spirit and aesthetic that would become the hallmark of the genre.
With an inimitable style and a flair for experimentation, Lee Perry blazed a trail unparalleled in music. In the 1970s, Perry brought Reggae to the wider world, winning the support of British fans and artists including The Clash, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones while commanding the streets and the burgeoning Punk movement. In the 1980s, he launched into Techno music. In the 1990s, Lee became a mentor figure for the Beastie Boys and enjoyed a renaissance with American fans. Since the late 1990s, Lee Perry has toured the globe relentlessly as a solo performer, selling out shows from San Francisco to Sydney. In 2003 Perry won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album, an honor he was nominated for again in 2008.
Lee Perry's documentary portrait, "The Upsetter," narrated by Benicio Del Toro, will be in theaters, on DVD and VOD in 2011 and his encyclopedic biography, “People Funny Boy,” by David Katz, is available worldwide.