Lee Scratch Perry


Lee Scratch Perry (1936 – 2021) was born in a remote Jamaican village in 1936 and moved to Kingston in 1961 to pursue a career in music after a divine voice directed him there. After founding the infamous Black Ark Studio he produced some of Bob Marley’s most renowned songs and became one of the pioneering forces in the development of dub and reggae music. The studio was burned down a few years later, and Perry led a nomadic life before settling between the Swiss countryside. Perry has worked with artists including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Junior Murvin, the Beastie Boys, and The Clash, among many others, and was awarded a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2003.

By the end of the Seventies Perry started painting occult symbols and dub-collages around his studio, which gradually developed into a multidisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk practice. Often imbued with spirituality, Perry’s visual output had since taken the form of multi-layered clusters that continually shift and change; creating an ever-expanding network of paradisal animals, cartoon figures and saints using paint, mirrors, rocks, photographs, video and computer-transmitted word-association poems – in a ceaseless quest to venerate the Almighty.