Steve McQueen (artist)

Steve McQueen (artist)

Steve McQueen (born 1969) is an English artist. He is best known for his films, but has worked in other forms also. He is a winner of the Turner Prize.


Early years

Born in London, McQueen grew up in West London. A keen footballer, turning out for the St. Georges Colts football team. He did art "A level" at Hammersmith and West London College, then studied art and design at Chelsea College of Art and Design and then fine art at Goldsmiths College where he first became interested in film. He left Goldsmiths in 1993 and then studied briefly at the Tisch School in New York City. He found the approach there not experimental enough for him, however, complaining that "they wouldn't let you throw the camera up in the air".


McQueen's films, which are typically projected onto one or more walls of an enclosed space in an art gallery, are often in black and white and minimalist. He has cited the influence of the "nouvelle vague" and the films of Andy Warhol. He often appears in the films himself.

His first major work was "Bear" (1993), in which two naked men (one of them McQueen) exchange a series of glances which might be taken to be flirtatious or threatening. One of his best known works, "Deadpan" (1997), is a restaging of a Buster Keaton stunt in which a house collapses around McQueen who is left unscathed because he is standing where there is a missing window.

As well as being in black and white, both these films are silent. The first of McQueen's films to use sound was also the first to use multiple
Manhattan. The resulting films are projected on three walls of an enclosed space. McQueen has also made sculptures such as "White Elephant" (1998) and photographs.

He won the Turner Prize in 1999, although much of the publicity went to Tracey Emin, who was also a nominee.

His 2008 film "Hunger", about the last six weeks of the life of Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger striker Bobby Sands, premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival [cite web|url=,,2279349,00.html|title=Bobby Sands screens at Cannes|accessmonthday=05-11|accessyear=2008|publisher=The Guardian] . McQueen received the Caméra d'Or (first-time director) Award at Cannes [ [ Winners at the 61st Cannes Film Festival - Yahoo! News ] ] . The film was also awarded the inaugural Sydney Film Festival Prize, for "its controlled clarity of vision, its extraordinary detail and bravery, the dedication of its cast and the power and resonance of its humanity" [ [ Sydney Film Festival: Official Competition winner] ] . The film also won the 2008 Diesel Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The award is voted on by the press attending the festival. []

McQueen has been selected to represent Britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale. [Charlotte Higgins, [ "McQueen will represent Britain at Venice Biennale"] , "The Guardian", June 25, 2008.]


External links

* [ Thomas Dane Gallery: Steve McQueen]
* [ Marian Goodman Gallery: Steve McQueen]
* [ BBC profile]
* [ "Queen and Country"]

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