Steve McCurry: feeding on the colours of Asia


Photograph of Steve McCurry from the Magnum Newsletter

Photograph of Steve McCurry from the Magnum Newsletter

One of my previous posts the Stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka by Steve McCurry  was so enjoyed by many readers of this blog. The vibrancy, colour of that photograph made many of us feel like they were actually in the sea wading with the fisherman in the foreground.

Fishermen, Weligama, South coast, Sri Lanka, 1995. Photo Steve McCurry.

Fishermen, Weligama, South coast, Sri Lanka, 1995. Photo Steve McCurry.

However, I hear that many are also not familiar with McCurry’s work. He is a photographer for Magnum — possibly the most famous of all photo agencies.

Magnum in a Newsletter in 2012, said “McCurry photographs all over the world, but it is the people, places, colors and forms of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma that have inspired his most striking work – images which transcend their editorial origins to become classics of photography. Of his work, McCurry says, ‘Above all, I feed on the colors of Asia: deep henna, hammered gold, curry and saffron, rich black lacquer and painted-over rot. As I reflect back on it, I see it was the vibrant color of Asia that taught me to see and write in light.'”

 India. Bombay. 1993. A mother and child ask for alms through a taxi window during the monsoon. © Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos


India. Bombay. 1993. A mother and child ask for alms through a taxi window during the monsoon. Photograph from the Magnum Newsletter © Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos

“What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.”

Magnum’s bio of Steve McCurry says he was born in Philadelphia, and graduated from Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left to freelance in India.

His career, Magnum says was launched when, wearing native clothing, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes that contained some of the world’s first images of the conflict.

In this feature posted on April 3, 2013 by Bruno Bayley interviews McCurry. Read what he has to say about his work in Afghanistan, about nearly getting killed on the job and working in dangerous situations .

Click here for Full story and to see more photos by Steve McCurry.

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