25.10.2012 - 30.12.2012
Steve McCurry, photographer with a worldwide reputation is one of the most widely recognised contemporary photographers, the winner of numerous prestigious prizes for photography. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic, and is known for his suggestive colour photography, rendered in the vivid documentary manner of the best-known world agency for news photography, Magnum Photos. Looking for scenes that incise themselves into the memory, he has managed to get into the essence of human joy and suffering. Many of his photographic images have become icons of the contemporary age.
Born in Philadelphia in 1950, he was educated at the Art and Architecture Faculty of Pennsylvania University. For two years he worked in The Daily Collegian, a state paper, and then set off to India as a freelance photo-reporter. It was there that he learned patiently to lie in wait for the moment in which life will appear in the fullness of its meaning. He concluded that “if you wait patiently, people forget your camera and open up their souls”.
He got into the world of photo-journalism in a big way. Just before the Soviet invasion, he crossed Pakistan to Afghanistan, disguised in local attire. Getting out with rolls of film sewn into his clothing, he was among the first in the world to publish pictures of that conflict. For this exploit he won the Robert Capa Gold Medal, given to the best photographic reporting from abroad, for photographers who have shown outstanding courage and enterprise.
In the following years he covered the Iran/Iraq war, Lebanon, Afghanistan, the Cambodian civil war, the Islamic revolt on the Philippines, the Gulf War. He publishes in magazines all around the world, and often works for National Geographic.
He has won many other awards, among them the National Press Photographers Photographer of the Year award. In the same year, in the world’s biggest selection of press photography, World Press Photo, he won four first prizes, a success without a parallel. He was twice awarded the Olivier Rebbot commemorative prize.
McCurry not only shows with his camera the events of war, but is also focused on the human consequences of war. He records not just the traces that war leaves in the landscape, but, more so, on the human face: “Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition”
Steve McCurry Girl from Afghanistan
His best known portrait, Girl from Afghanistan, was shot in a refugee camp close to Peshawar in Pakistan. It became the best known photograph in the history of National Geographic. Her face became known when it provided the cover for the issue of June 1985. It was also widely used for the covers of brochures, for posters and calendars in Amnesty International campaigns. The identity of the Girl remained unknown for more than 17 years, until 2002, when McCurry and a National Geographic team found a woman with the name of Sharbat Gulua. He then stated: “Her skin may now be tired and show wrinkles, but it is still just as striking as it was all those years ago.”
Steve McCurry ahs published several books, including: The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), Looking East (2006), In the Shadow of Mountains (2007), The Unguarded Moment (2009), The Iconic Photographs (2011).
The exhibition is held under the patronage of the Embassy of the United States and Milan Bandić, the Mayor of the city of Zagreb.
The exhibition was supported by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and by sponsors.
The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Agency Arte plus Ljubljana, and Galerija Fotografija, Ljubljana.
EXHIBITION ORGANISED AND CATALOGUE PUBLISHED BY Umjetnički paviljon u Zagrebu u suradnji s Galerija Fotografija Ljubljana i Arte plus Ljubljana
FOR THE PUBLISHER: Radovan Vuković; EDITOR: Radovan Vuković; EXHIBITION DESIGN: Miha Furlan; MARKETING: Gordan Sirotić; TEHNICAL MOUNTING: Damir Martinec; CATALOGUE AND POSTER DESIGN: Studio Rašić; TRANSLATION: Graham McMaster i Stentor; PRINTED BY Kerschoffset, Zagreb
PRINTED IN: 3000 copies; ISBN: 978-953-6890-52-1