Lee 'Scratch' Perry ADD

Lee Scratch Perry + Peter Harris - The Higher Powers Bible

10/31/2018 by Gardy Stein

Lee Scratch Perry + Peter Harris - The Higher Powers Bible

There's no fox like an old fox: at age 82, Lee "Scratch" Perry teams up with British visual artist Peter Harris to release a book. Not just any book, of course, but The Higher Powers Bible! Started as a series of artworks in 2014 (subtitled From Genesis To Revelation), the artists' visual manifests now found a physical form that's able to reach wide audiences. This unique print matter of 40 pages comes in a first edition of only 350 copies and was published in October 2018 by & Pens Press, a Californian publishing house focusing on art, design and small circulations.

David Katz describes its newest feat thus: "Centering on 100 previously unseen collaborative works (of which 25 are shown in this book), The Higher Powers Bible has visual representations of Perry’s apocalyptic visions, with fire, brimstone and righteous judgement being exacted on wicked bankers, evil presidents and transgressive prime ministers; vile slave masters with heads of money whip the wretched poor, while the middle classes are force-fed a fast-food diet of addictive iPads, throwaway cars, and toxic mortgages. The pictures are augmented by Perry’s chanted incantations, using his black marker pen as a sword; the stream-of-consciousness words form a symbolic counterpart to a Jamaican deejay, toasting over Harris’s visual ‘riddims’."

The collaboration between Perry and Harris started with the latter's feature film Higher Powers in 2007, thus spanning more than a decade now, and the results are priceless: unabashed criticism of the ruling elites as well as new interpretations of diverse chapters of the Holy Book in strong, striking visuals. In his usual direct, chaotic but still conceptually grounded way, Lee "Scratch" Perry again provides us with insights into the creative universe inside of him. Says the artist: "Some people don't believe in the Bible, but I believe in it, because I live in the Bible." Amen!