Steve McCurry – Holu, a festival that welcomes spring, is celebrated with public spraying of colorful powders. Rajasthan, India, 1996
Photographer Steve McCurry has been traveling to various parts of the globe photographing and capturing different subjects and people. His photography has led him down hidden pathways and streets searching for what he calls the magic moment, which is when color, light, and emotion work together in perfect harmony to create a beautiful picture. His search is usually long and could take him weeks. However, of all the places in the world that McCurry has traveled to and resided in, none fascinates him more than India. According to the artist, India has supplied him with more opportunities and magic moments than he has ever experienced in any part of the globe.
Visually, India is an incredibly rich and diverse country, which means that there is no shortage of beautiful things and people to capture. Additionally, as there is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor, there are a lot of societal issues to uncover and highlight. McCurry’s images of India cover almost 30 years of work.
His images of India strive to cover the large country and its massive numbers of people, as well as the different cultures of its people. McCurry always returned to India because the country remained mostly unchanged regardless of the endless technological advancements that have occurred through the years. The ancient spirit in India is what helped the photographs to come alive because, without it, most of his images would have been generic at best in any other location.
His photographs are well varied from unknown winding staircases to sandstorms in the Rajasthani desert. McCurry’s colorful photographs helped to show India in a new light. In tandem with his book Steve McCurry: India, the artist has managed to leave a lasting impression on the world that will inspire thousands of new photographers to travel to unexplored lands.
One signature element of McCurry that makes his works stand out is his portrait-like style. His subjects seem to stare unashamedly at the camera as if they have had a lasting relationship with the photographer. For this reason, his photographs are candid and appear to have some close intimacy that obviously does not exist between the photographer and his subjects. The images that McCurry has collected over the last thirty years have continued to grow in popularity probably because they represent a genuine panorama of the often misunderstood state. Both glamorous and worrying, McCurry’s images have forced people to truly question their role in society as well as their contributions to it.
Steve McCurry – Tailor carries his sewing machine through monsoon floodwaters
Steve McCurry – Mother and Child at Car Window, Bombay:Mumbai, India, 1993
Steve McCurry – India
Steve McCurry – Camels in dust storm, India, 2010
Steve McCurry – Cluster of women during a dust storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983
Steve McCurry – Dust storm, Rajasthan, 1983
Steve McCurry – A villager participating in the festival of Holi, Rajasthan, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Villagers participating in the Holi Festival, Rajasthan, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Rajasthan, India
Steve McCurry – Rajasthan, India
Steve McCurry – Bicycles hang on the side of a train traveling from Dacca to Peshawar, West Bengal, India. April 1993
Steve McCurry – Agra, India
Steve McCurry – Taj Mahal and train, Agra, 1983
Steve McCurry – Stepwell, India, 2002
Steve McCurry – Stepwell and birds, India, 2012
Steve McCurry – Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, India, 1994
Steve McCurry – Kumbh Mela Festival, Allahabad, 2001
Steve McCurry – Pedicabs in a flooded street, Varanasi, India, 1983
Steve McCurry – Blue City, India, 2010
Steve McCurry – Boy in mid flight, Jodphur, India, 2007
Steve McCurry – Man carrying statue of Ganesh into the Indian Ocean, Mumbai, India, 1993
Steve McCurry – An elderly man from the Rabari Tribe, Rajasthan, India, 2010
Steve McCurry – A grandson takes orders to fetch water, Jodhpur, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1999
Steve McCurry – Banana Cart, Bombay, India, 1993
Steve McCurry – Delhi, India
Steve McCurry – Mahouts sleep with their elephant
Steve McCurry – Man covered in powder, Rajasthan, India, 2009
Steve McCurry – Man dries fabric near the Taj Mahal
Steve McCurry – India
Steve McCurry – Painted Boy, Bombay, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Three men, Jodhpur, India, 1996
Portrait of Steve McCurry
Shirin Neshat – Rapture, 1999, gelatin silver print, 108×171.5cm
The Rapture is a projection of black and white video where Iranian artist Shirin Neshat gives a narrative that concerns the differences between Muslim women and men. Neshat has used the video projection to explore the cultural and social role of women in the Islamic World and shot the work in Morocco with a cast that included hundreds of participants.
Doug Wheeler – PSAD Synthetic Desert III, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Photo: David Heald
Over 40 years ago, a leading Light and Space artist called Doug Wheeler imagined an art project that resembled the tranquility you would experience if you travelled to an expansive desert such as the one in Arizona. For a long time, the idea only existed on paper due to the amount of resources it required to get going.
Victor Habchy is a French photographer and director. He was lucky enough to get a ticket to Burning Man, an annual festival in the middle of the desert of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in the US. He describes the event as life-changing, spending a full week without electricity, sleeping in a tent in desert heat and dealing with dust storms.
In the words of the artist:
I understood you can’t really get prepared to this simply because you just don’t know it. Then I figured out they were actually no preparation you should follow; all you need is to let it go.
Because never on my life have I experienced more love, more freedom and more self-expression. This place gathers everything that is left from the human dreams and utopia and how, by every individual means, we could work together to build up a better world.
You know what the very first message you hear when it’s you first time at the Burning Man?
Ugo Rondinone – Seven Magic Mountains Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016
Seven Magic Mountains by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone sits comfortably in the desert south of Las Vegas in Nevada. The colossal work is made up of seven towering sculptures of stones weighing up to a ton each. The huge limestone boulders are stacked on top of one another. Each tower is made up of three to six stones and each stone has a specific colour with each stack standing as high as 9 to 10.5 meters. Seven Magic Mountains is now one of the largest land-based art installations in the United States in the last 40 years.
Zhang Kechun – Buddha in Coal Yard, Ningxia Province, 2011
The Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river, is the main subject of The Yellow River, a series of photographs by Zhang Kechun. The Yangtze is praised as the cradle of Chinese evolution owing to the central function it played in the civilization of ancient China. Paradoxically, the river is also referred to as China’s sorrow, based on the ferociousness of the river during flooding season.
Daesung Lee – Futuristic Archeology
Daesung Lee’s Futuristic Archeology project deals with the nomadic people of Mongolia. Although Mongolia has seen increasing modernization and urbanization in recent decades, approximately 35% of Mongolians still live a traditional nomadic lifestyle, thus depending on the vast land and their relationship with the land to survive. However, environmental changes have put their way of life in grave danger, as the land is becoming at risk of desertification.