Steve McQueen (artist)
|Born||Steven Rodney McQueen
London, United Kingdom
|Residence||Amsterdam, Netherlands, London|
|Education||B.A. in Fine art|
|Alma mater||Hammersmith and West London College,
|Occupation||Artist, film director, screenwriter|
|Style||Neo-noir, Experimental, Social realism|
|Influenced by||Andy Warhol, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Jean Vigo, Buster Keaton, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Robert Bresson, Billy Wilder|
Early years 
McQueen was born in London, United Kingdom, and is of Grenadian descent. McQueen grew up in West London and went to Drayton Manor High School. He was a keen footballer, turning out for the St. Georges Colts football team. He did an A level art 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, United States, after winning a place there. He found the approach there too stifling and not experimental enough for him, however, complaining that "they wouldn't let you throw the camera up in the air".
Short films 
Bear (1993) was McQueen's first major film, presented at the Royal College of Art in London. Although not an overtly political piece, for many it raised rather sensitive issues on race, homoeroticism and violence. It shows a wrestling match between two men who alternate ambiguous relations and gestures of aggression and erotic attraction. The film's protagonists, one of them McQueen, are both black, but issues of race, he has said, are not a priority in his work. Like all McQueen's early films, Bear is black and white. It was shot on 16mm film.
Five Easy Pieces (1995) is a short film by McQueen it literally follows a woman across a tightrope; himself stating the idea that a tightrope walker is "the perfect image of a combination of vulnerability and strength."
Just Above My Head (1996) is a short film which shares close ties with McQueen's preceding film with the key theme of walking. A man - played by McQueen - is shot in a way as so as to crop out his body, but his head appears small at the image's bottom, rising and falling with his step and coming in and out of frame according to the movement of the camera. As stated by David Frankel, the "simultaneous fragility and persistence" is seemingly meant as a metaphor for black life in England as elsewhere.
Exodus (1997) is a sixty-five-second colour video which takes the title of a record by Bob Marley as its starting point. It records a found event, two black men carrying potted palms, the greenery waving precariously above their heads, whom McQueen followed down a London street. Then they get on a bus and leave.
Western Deep (2002), commissioned for Documenta 11, constitutes a powerful exploration of the sensory experience of the Tautona goldmine in South Africa, showing migrant labourers working in claustrophobic, dark environments and the ear-splitting noise of drilling.
McQueen's films as an artist were typically projected onto one or more walls of an enclosed space in an art gallery, and often in black and white and minimalist. He has cited the influence of the nouvelle vague and the films of Andy Warhol. He often appeared 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. 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 images: Drumroll (1998). This was made with three cameras, two mounted to the sides, and one to the front of an oil drum which McQueen rolled through the streets of 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.
In 2006, he went to Iraq as an official war artist. The following year he presented Queen and Country, a piece which commemorated the deaths of British soldiers who died in the Iraq War by presenting their portraits as a sheet of stamps.
His 2008 feature film Hunger, about the 1981 Irish hunger strike, premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. McQueen received the Caméra d'Or (first-time director) Award at Cannes, the first British director to win the award. 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". 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. Hunger also won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for a New Generation film in 2008 and the best film prize at the London Evening Standard Film Awards in 2009.
Steve McQueen is represented by Thomas Dane Gallery, London, and by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. He lives and works in Amsterdam and London.
McQueen's second major theatrical release, Shame, is set in New York City.
Feature films 
|Year||Film||Credited as||Studio||Worldwide Gross|
|2013||12 Years a Slave||Yes||Yes||New Regency Productions|
Short films 
|1995||Five Easy Pieces||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1996||Just Above My Head||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- "Steve McQueen: Profile". BBC News. December 1, 1999. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- Arifa Akbar. "The British film industry has lost its edge, says BFI boss". The Independent, Friday, 2 April 2010.
- David Frankel "Steve McQueen - Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York". ArtForum. FindArticles.com. 25 July 2010. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_n3_v36/ai_20381888/
- Andrew Gellatly. Frieze Magazine. Issue 46 (May 1999).
- Searle, Adrian (March 21, 2007). "Last Post". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- The Renaissance Society
- Thorpe, Vanessa (May 12, 2008). "Bobby Sands screens at Cannes". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 05-11 2008.
- Winners at the 61st Cannes Film Festival - Yahoo! News
- Sydney Film Festival: Official Competition winner
- "Family dramas, IRA prisoner film win big at TIFF". CBC News. September 13, 2008.
- "Standard success for Sands movie". BBC News. February 1, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- Charlotte Higgins, McQueen will represent Britain at Venice Biennale, The Guardian, June 25, 2008.
- Michael Fleming and Ali Jaafar, Focus to film 'Fela' feature, Variety, December 7, 2009.
- Ben Child, Steve McQueen to Direct Fela Kuti Biopic, The Guardian, December 8, 2009.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2010.
- New Year Honours for Lennox, Suchet, Hancock and Webb
Further reading 
- Brockington, Horace. "Logical Anonymity: Lorna Simpson, Steve McQueen, Stan Douglas." International Review of African American Art 15 No. 3 (1998): 20-29.
- Demos, TJ. "The Art of Darkness: on Steve McQueen." October No. 114 (Fall 2005): 61-89.
- Demos, TJ. "Giardini: A Fairytale." In Steve McQueen (British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2009).
- Steve McQueen at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Steve McQueen, MUBI
- Thomas Dane Gallery: Steve McQueen
- Marian Goodman Gallery: Steve McQueen
- BBC profile
- Queen and Country
- Steve McQueen on re-title.com