Steve McQueen, ‘Caribs’ Leap/Western Deep’, 2002/2005, Fondazione Prada

Image rights: Courtesy Fondazione Prada Photo Attilio Maranzano

About Steve McQueen

Though Steve McQueen is best known for his heavy-hitting feature films Hunger, Shame, and the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, these movies are just one element of the artist’s long-standing conceptual video art practice. McQueen studied at Goldsmiths with the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin but opted out of the flashy, commerce-oriented Young British Artist (YBA) movement in favor of a career making serious, formally intense, socially engaged films and videos. Although his work has explored such issues as American slavery, the 1981 IRA hunger strike, and colonialism’s never-ending aftermath, he maintains that his work is not about politics per se. “Politics will take care of itself,” McQueen has said. “I’m interested in people who are involved in the situations that politicians create.”

British, b. 1969, London, United Kingdom, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands