Don McCullin (b. 1935) is one of the world's greatest photojournalists, famous around the world for his work in conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Vietnam.
McCullin learned his trade in the Royal Air Force in the 1950s, during which time he was deployed in the Suez, Kenya and Cyprus. He first came to prominence with the publication of a series of pictures of a London street gang in the 'Observer' newspaper in 1959, which took him on as a photojournalist. In the ensuing years he published acclaimed images of the construction of the Berlin Wall, protests against the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1964 Congo crisis (for which he disguised himself as a mercenary). The following year, McCullin made the first of his fifteen trips to Vietnam. His bravery and commitment became legendary, and in the course of his career he suffered serious injury while on assignment in El Salvador and Cambodia. In the latter case, his life was saved by his camera when it intercepted a Khmer Rouge bullet.
The photographs in ARTIST ROOMS exemplify McCullin's ability to bring his audience almost unbearably close to the experience of people living under conditions that we can barely imagine. His work documents the second part of a century riven by war, mass emigration, famine and political upheaval on a vast scale, focusing on the particular and in each case unique plight of individual men, women and children.
Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland would like to acknowledge the artist's generosity in donating 'Shell Shocked US Marine, The Battle of Hue 1968', printed 2013, to the ARTIST ROOMS collection. A further 38 works are in the process of entering the ARTIST ROOMS collection.