Archive: Art in India
Glamorous and worrying: Steve McCurry’s magic India moments

Glamorous and worrying: Steve McCurry’s magic India moments

Steve McCurry - Holu, a festival that welcomes spring, is celebrated with public spraying of colorful powders. Rajasthan, India, 1996
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 – Tailor carries his sewing machine through monsoon floodwaters

Steve McCurry - Mother and Child at Car Window, Bombay:Mumbai, India, 1993
Steve McCurry – Mother and Child at Car Window, Bombay:Mumbai, India, 1993

Steve McCurry - India
Steve McCurry – India

Steve McCurry - Camels in dust storm, India, 2010
Steve McCurry – Camels in dust storm, India, 2010

Steve McCurry - Cluster of women during a dust storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983
Steve McCurry – Cluster of women during a dust storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983

Steve McCurry - Dust storm, Rajasthan, 1983
Steve McCurry – Dust storm, Rajasthan, 1983

Steve McCurry - A villager participating in the festival of Holi, Rajasthan, India, 1996
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 – Villagers participating in the Holi Festival, Rajasthan, India, 1996

Steve McCurry - Rajasthan, India 2
Steve McCurry – Rajasthan, India

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 – Bicycles hang on the side of a train traveling from Dacca to Peshawar, West Bengal, India. April 1993

Steve McCurry - Agra, India
Steve McCurry – Agra, India

Steve McCurry - Taj Mahal and train, Agra, 1983
Steve McCurry – Taj Mahal and train, Agra, 1983

Steve McCurry - Stepwell, India, 2002
Steve McCurry – Stepwell, India, 2002

Steve McCurry - Stepwell and birds, India, 2012
Steve McCurry – Stepwell and birds, India, 2012

Steve McCurry - Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, India, 1994
Steve McCurry – Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, India, 1994

Steve McCurry - Kumbh Mela Festival, Allahabad, 2001
Steve McCurry – Kumbh Mela Festival, Allahabad, 2001

Steve McCurry - Pedicabs in a flooded street, Varanasi, India, 1983
Steve McCurry – Pedicabs in a flooded street, Varanasi, India, 1983

Steve McCurry - Blue City, India, 2010
Steve McCurry – Blue City, India, 2010

Steve McCurry - Boy in mid flight, Jodphur, India, 2007
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 – 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 – An elderly man from the Rabari Tribe, Rajasthan, India, 2010

Steve McCurry - A grandson takes orders to fetch water, Jodhpur, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – A grandson takes orders to fetch water, Jodhpur, India, 1996

Steve McCurry - Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1999
Steve McCurry – Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1999

Steve McCurry - Banana Cart, Bombay, India, 1993
Steve McCurry – Banana Cart, Bombay, India, 1993

Steve McCurry - Delhi, India
Steve McCurry – Delhi, India

Steve McCurry - Mahouts sleep with their elephant
Steve McCurry – Mahouts sleep with their elephant

Steve McCurry - Man covered in powder, Rajasthan, India, 2009
Steve McCurry – Man covered in powder, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry - Man dries fabric near the Taj Mahal
Steve McCurry – Man dries fabric near the Taj Mahal

Steve McCurry - Mumbai, India
Steve McCurry – India

Steve McCurry - Painted Boy, Bombay, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Painted Boy, Bombay, India, 1996

Steve McCurry - Three men, Jodhpur, India, 1996
Steve McCurry – Three men, Jodhpur, India, 1996

Steve McCurry Portrait
Portrait of Steve McCurry


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The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

For a couple of years now, photographer Gideon Mendel has taken it upon himself to show the world what it is like in other parts of the world where the climate is very unfavourable to them. Mendel has not minded the dangers and lengths he has to go through to make sure he delivers the pictures in the clearest form possible. In his most recent project, Drowning World, he takes us round the world through his camera lenses and shows us calm portraits of flood victims in areas we would not expect. Drowning World shows the real picture of climate change around the world, the real picture behind the statistics and with real people the floods affect directly.

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Poem about exile in big letters in India

Poem about exile in big letters in India

Robert-Montgomery-Fado-music-in-reverse-Biennale-di-Kochi-Muziris-2
Robert MontgomeryFado music in reverse, Biennale di Kochi-Muziris 2012

Robert-Montgomery-Fado-music-in-reverse-Biennale-di-Kochi-Muziris-1
Robert MontgomeryFado music in reverse, Biennale di Kochi-Muziris 2012

For India’s first festival of international contemporary art, the Kochi Muziris-Biennale, which first took place in 2012, Robert Montgomery has created a poem about exile in light on the sea-facing façade of Aspinwall House which he describes as Fado music in reverse.


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