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Charles Darwent

Charles Darwent wrote a substantial feature on Steve McQueen, titled McQueen and Country,  in The New Review, issued with The Independent on Sunday, of 24 May 2009. A full page portrait of McQueen appeared on the cover of the supplement, with, McQueen and country From IRA hunger strikers to the Iraq war dead - our artist at the Venice Biennale on what Britishness means to him.

The article itself (titled Your country needs you) covered pages 14, 15, and 17 of the The New Review. It began, “Cover story  His cinematic debut showed the brutalisation of IRA hunger strikers by the British. Now Steve McQueen wants the Royal Mail to commemorate the 179 [British] personell who died in Iraq. So why is this most ‘seditious’ of artists representing Britain at next month’s Venice Biennale? Charles Darwent meets a reluctant subversive”

One of the feature’s pages is given over to reproducing a sheet of McQueen’s would-be Royal Mail stamps, of Corporal Simon Miller Adjutant General’s Corps (Royal Military Police) Died 24 June 2003 Aged 21 The corresponding highlighted reference to the stamps reads, “Stamp duty: McQueen says he is ‘visualising the memory’ of dead British servicemen and women in ‘Queen and Country’.”

The article covers, McQueen’s early work, his feature film, Hunger, his Queen and Country stamp project, and other aspects of his practice and his interests. A portrait of McQueen ‘with his Dutch partner’ appears alongside several stills from his films.

This was one of a large number of features on McQueen, that appeared in a variety of magazines and other publications, in the wake of his criticakly acclaimed film, Hunger, his work on Queen and Country, and his project that represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. The article perhaps confirmed the judgement of Art Review (Summer 2009) that Steve McQueen was “The Most Relevant Artist in Britain”

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Article relating to an individual, 2009