Jonathan Meades is a writer, journalist, essayist and film-maker. He has written and performed in many television films on predominantly architectural and topographical subjects such as plotlands, garden cities, brutalism and megastructures, the utopian avoidance of right angles, Belgium, the Baltic, French identity, buildings associated with vertigo, beer, pigs, and the architecture of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. He is currently preparing a film about Spanish architecture under Franco. His most recent film, Matrix Hubbing Performative Pain Badgers, is about jargon and will be transmitted on BBCFour in summer 2018.
The Whitechapel Gallery and the National Film Theatre staged a retrospective of his work in 2017.
His books include three works of fiction – Filthy English, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business – and several collections of essays. The most recent of these Museum Without Walls received thirteen nominations in the national British press as a book of the year. A deflected autobiography An Encyclopaedia of Myself, won Best Memoir in the Spear’s Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Pen Ackerley Prize and was described by Roger Lewis in the Finacial Times as ‘a masterpiece’. His ‘anti-cookbook’ The Plagiarist In The Kitchen appeared in April 2017.
He has published a box of 100 postcards Pidgin Snaps. His treyfs and arnaques were exhibited in 2016 at the London/Newscastle Space in a solo show entiled Ape Forgets Medication. He had a subsequent solo show at 108 Gallery in Harrogate.
‘Meades has been compared, favourably, to Rabelais and, flatteringly, to Swift. The truth is that he outstrips both in the gaudiness of his imagination.’ HENRY HITCHINGS, Times Literary Supplement
‘A human Enigma machine…Jonathan Meades is the Jonathan Meades of our generation.’ AA GILL The Sunday Times
‘Sceptical, forthright, unbiddable and seriously droll.’ ANTHONY QUINN, Metro
‘The scope of his ideas, the force of his arguments, the sheer vitality of his sentences: these things come at you like negative ions after a storm, with the result that you soon start to feel an awful lot better –envious but revitalised, too.’ RACHEL COOKE, New Statesman
“Writer, gastronome, television presenter, Francophile, Blues Brother lookalike, occasional photographer and all-round aesthetic crosspatch, Jonathan Meades is a man who gives the impression of knowing everything about everything in a way that hasn’t been possible since the 17th century.” JANE SHILLING, DailyTelegraph