Portrait of Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen at London Primary School. Courtesy of BBC London

Steve is an award-winning filmmaker

Steve loved drawing at school and believes that art can change people’s lives. When he was young he wanted to be a painter. However at Goldsmiths art school he started taking photographs and then making films. His work explores what it means to be human.

In 1999, when he was only 30 years old, he won the Turner Prize. This is the highest award given to a British artist. He also won an Oscar for his film 12 Years a Slave. It tells the true story of a man who was a slave in America.

Steve McQueen artwork, Static 2009

Steve McQueen, Static, 2009 © Steve McQueen; Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery, London

He was born in London

A class portrait with Steve McQueen from 1977

Steve McQueen's Year 3 class at Little Ealing Primary School, 1977

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Steve grew up in West London. You can see him in the picture above when he was in Year 3 at Little Ealing Primary School. Counting from the front, he is the fifth child on the left of the third row.

Steve thinks that every child should have the opportunity to study art and other creative subjects like music and drama. He believes that these subjects help you to learn to use your imagination and sometimes this can help us to come up with ideas to make the world a better place.

As a child, Steve loved football and played it regularly. He supported Tottenham Hotspur. Do you have a sports team that you support?

He is making a new artwork with the help of London’s Year 3 classes

Photo of a photoshoot at a primary school

Photo © Tate

Last year Steve invited every year 3 class in all of London’s primary schools to have their photograph taken by a team of Tate photographers. He is going to be gathering thousands of photographs to make a massive artwork. He wants to make a huge portrait of all the seven and eight year olds who in a few years’ time will shape the city they live in.

What do you think the future of your city will look like?

Steve McQueen Year 3 opens in November 2019. Please use the Tate website with a parent or guardian.