Visual Culture: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s “Repent Americans” Art Exhibition

April 19, 2013

Words by Kieran K. Meadows—

Lee perry art 2

Anyone who has ever seen producer Lee “Scratch” Perry perform—or even speak in on-camera interviews—knows that the man is an artist in every sense of the word. From his spontaneous energy to his customized outfits and accessories, he has honed his own brand of creativity for decades. Perry has even served as an inspiration to other visual artists. The Black Ark Studio founder’s legacy as a reggae and dub producer and his global popularity as an in-demand performer is almost unparalleled. His eccentric methods in the studio and on stage have allowed him to create his own mystical, mysterious lane.

It should come as no surprise then that, over the years, he has channeled much of the same unique energy towards the canvas and into being an active visual artist. In 2010, he had his first-ever solo art exhibit in the world, “Secret Education,” a mix of paintings, writings and videos, at Dem Passwords gallery in Los Angeles.

Largely due to the success of that show, this weekend, his second-ever solo showing of artworks, “Repent Americans,” opens, also at Dem Passwords, and will show until mid-June. For those of you lucky enough to be in the L.A. area, the opening reception takes place this Saturday, April 20, from 7-10pm. Perry himself will be in attendance and will do a live painting during the opening. For the rest of us, here’s a trailer for the exhibition, offering a rare look at Scratch’s creative process:

Lee Perry art