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
I-Hsuen Chen – Still Life Analysis II – The Island, Taipei, Taiwan
I-Hsuen Chen is a photographer, artist, and filmmaker that was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. As a photographer, Chen is well known for surveying and photographing foreign objects such as garbage as the main subjects of his photographs. In Still Life Analysis II: The Island, I-Hsuen Chen continues his survey of garbage and unfamiliar objects, which started in his first exhibition titled The Still Life Analysis. In both series, Chen concentrates on collections of typical household objects that a homeless person would have beneath the Civic Boulevard.
In 1980, President Reagan was elected president and Joel Sternfeld had embarked on a road trip across America that would allow him to capture life in America as it was in the 1980s. Having been awarded the Guggenheim grant two years earlier in 1978, Joel’s American Prospects was later to become one of the most revolutionary color photographs of the time, when professional photographers only used the black and white format for official or serious pictures. His photographs from the American Prospects series helped to usher in a new breed of modern photographers, which is why Sternfeld has always been characterized as one of the most influential photographer of his generation.
Serra Pelada refers to a series of photographs that were taken in 1986 depicting endless numbers of mine workers distributed on various parts of a tall gold mining cliff. The black and white photos were taken from a distance and at an elevated vantage point by photographer Sebastiao Salgado. Because of the location and the angle in which the photos were taken, the subjects look like dots as only their general forms are noticeable. The photograph captures gold grabbers and miners pouring from the side of Brazil’s then largest and most dangerous mine known as Serra Pelada.
Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist that has built a successful photography career that has seen his work published in numerous books and publications. As a photojournalist, Salgado seeks to photograph the most unsettling images of human life on earth, exposing things that appear almost unrealistic and improbable such as the Serra Pelada gold mine.
Pieter Hugo is one of South Africa’s most recognizable photographers most notably known today for his Hyena and Other Men series. Pieter has made a habit of photographing African landscapes and its marginalized people, so it does not come as a shock that his body of work consists of peculiar subjects such as albinos, the blind and even AIDS victims lying dead in their coffins. Pieter has never been afraid to push boundaries and it shows in his photographs. The end goal of many of his celebrated works has been to address the complex realities of race and identity issues in marginalized African societies through his photographs.
Shirin Neshat – Installation view of The Book of Kings at Faurschou Foundation Beijing
Photo by Jonathan Leijonhufvud
The Gladstone Gallery and the Faurschou Foundation in Beijing, China are just some of the art spaces that have had the pleasure of exhibiting Shirin Neshat’s The Book of Kings. The exhibition consisted of a total of 56 black and white photos framed in unmated and black frames that were hung across the two galleries. Neshat, “persona non grata” in Iran due to her art, created the photographs to reference a broad array of important and modern political metaphors.
Philippe Chancel – Arirang, May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2006
Every year, North Korea holds a lavish and extravagant celebration for its ruler known as the Arirang celebrations. The Arirang celebrations can be classified in the same category as the Olympic celebrations. The audience is always treated to a highly choreographed show, the likes of which have only ever been seen at the Olympics.