Born 1977, James McQueen is a contemporary artist living between New York and London. Growing up he was primarily influenced by the 1980s, a decade of increasing global capitalism, political upheaval, global mass media, wealth discrepancies and distinctive music and fashion, characterised by hip hop and electronic pop music. This all had a heavy impact on the generation of artists growing up during this time.
McQueen had always been a lover of art and culture. His grandfather owned an extensive collection of Penguin books, which fascinated him as a child. He became more and more interested in the look of the books rather than the words and began to start collecting himself. McQueen eventually decided he wanted to own a life size canvas version and set about in its creation! He created his first one for himself and then friends and neighbours started expressing an interest and the commissions started coming. The finished articles are designed to reflect the age of the books, using layers and layers of paint, which are then sanded down to create amazing patina, and finished with lacquer.
“It’s always just been a bit of fun to me and always will be! Having a collection of more than 300 Penguin books myself, I just love everything about them. Recreating different versions of the old classics is a pleasure.” James McQueen