Currently based in London and Amsterdam.
Transcending video art, although a highly accomplished and decorated artist, Steve McQueen boldly moved to the mainstream film industry, confronting the collective angst, mastering the art of unearthing identity and race traumas. He is the contemporary Goya. The horrors exposed, the tension and the drama in McQueen’s bold paint strokes not only do not cajole the public taste but usher it to the corners of human cruelty and absurdness. In his ongoing work End Credits, co-produced by the Onassis Foundation, he is creating an epic portrait of a man-symbol, Paul Robeson. A singer and social activist, Robeson became the blacklisted target of FBI when he started to crusade against lynching. His life and art career were destroyed. When his FBI files became partly declassified, Steve McQueen embarked on a long pilgrimage to assemble a monument of epic dimensions of the heroic man. The end credits in films are where all the contributing components of the film are credited. Through thousands and thousands of ever-scrolling pages, End Credits are a purgatory for our collective guilt towards martyred individuals like Robeson. Like a fountain or a river, End Credits flows endlessly in dozens of hours of a visual and spoken-word sermon mesmerizing in their dark matter and profound, compacted pain.
End Credits, 2012-ongoing
Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous single projection
Courtesy of the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery and Thomas Dane Gallery, London
© Steve McQueen