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The BBC's Madeleine Holt
"Not everyone is impressed"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 07:18 GMT
Steve McQueen: Profile
Steve McQueen Steve McQueen says he is 'extraordinarily pleased'

Primarily known for his film work, Steve McQueen has increasingly broadened his palette to include photography and sculpture.

But it was his celluloid work which largely won him a place on the Turner shortlist, including his exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.

After studying at Chelsea School of Art he attended Goldsmith's College, London, where he made his first short films.

Steve McQueen Homage to Buster Keaton
After graduating he won a place at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York but found the process of learning to become a professional film-maker too stifling.

"They wouldn't let you throw the camera up in the air," he once commented and has gone on to show he knows few limitations on what can be done with a camera.

Early work was on black and white film, without sound, for a series of emotionally charged films, but he has gone on to use colour video and incorporated audio tracks.

His first major film Bear in 1993 documents a brief, ambiguous encounter between two naked men - one of whom is McQueen - with fragmented shots.

The viewer is left wondering whether it is an aggressive or an erotic act.

Later works included Deadpan (1997) in which he again features as a building falls down around him again and again from many angles but he remains emotionless.

Drumroll, the following year, was made by fitting an oil drum with cameras which were rolled through the busy streets of Manhattan with circular images relaying the journey along its route.

He has said in the past that he has had a better response in the US than he has at home.

"Maybe because black artists are more noticeable over there and gain a broader acceptance," he said in one interview.

Surprise win

But there was no doubting his delight at winning Britain's top art award.

He said: "I'm very happy. I was surprised, in fact very surprised.

"I think you are always surprised. It's like when you walk down a street and someone calls your name, you're always surprised."

Asked what he would do with the money, the artist said: "I'm going to buy a house with a garden. I have a child who is 17 months and she needs a garden. At the moment I have a house that doesn't have a garden."

The prize winner was desperate to see his mother after the announcement, to whom he attributed his success for supporting and encouraging him.

Wherever he is in the world he always says 'mum I love you'
Mary McQueen: Artist's mother
McQueen, wearing a lime-green jacket with a red checked pattern and red trousers was asked about his next move.

"That's a question. I'll probably do a bit of hoovering and some shopping in Sainsbury's or the equivalent in Amsterdam, stock up."

He said his victory had not really sunk in yet. "When I'm washing up, dusting, shopping or changing nappies it'll probably hit me."

McQueen said he was planning to take a break for the next few days.

His mother, Mary, who was at the ceremony was overjoyed with her son's success.

"Wherever he is in the world he always says 'mum I love you'."

She was as surprised as her son that he had won.

"I had an open mind and I said 'may the best artist win' and when she opened the envelope and she said Steve McQueen I was absolutely shocked."

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See also:
30 Nov 99 |  UK
McQueen wins Turner Prize
14 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
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04 Oct 99 |  Americas
Sensation: Critics give mixed response

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