Steve McCurry

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Steve McCurry (born 1950) is best known for his evocative colour photography, he captures human struggle and joy in the finest documentary tradition. Having travelled the globe for over thirty years, McCurry has photographed warzones, burning oil fields, refugee camps, ship breaking yards and monsoons all over the world. A member of Magnum Photos since 1986, many of his images have become modern icons.

All works are available for purchase – please click on an image for further information.

Works

Holi Festival, Rajasthan, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Monsoon, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Afghan Girl, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984

Steve McCurry

Ancestral Shrine, Gujarat, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Man Carrying Statue Of Ganesh Into The Indian Ocean, Mumbai, India, 1993

Steve McCurry

‘Dalits’ Sweeping The Streets, Mumbai, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Pedicabs In A Flooded Street, Varanasi, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Fabric Dying, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 2000

Steve McCurry

Kumbh Mela Festival, Allahabad, India, 2001

Steve McCurry

Rabari Tribal Elder, Rajasthan, India, 2010

Steve McCurry

Ship Breaking Yard, Mumbai, India, 2006

Steve McCurry

Harvest Market, 1992

Steve McCurry

Children With Abandoned Boat, 1995

Steve McCurry

Children Work In Opium Field In badakhshan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Hazara Man Pulls Cart Past Burning House, 1985

Steve McCurry

Rebuilding A Kiln In Kandahar, 1992

Steve McCurry

Shiite Muslims During Ashura, 2002

Steve McCurry

Kabul Cemetery, 1992

Steve McCurry

Pigeon Feeding Near Blue Mosque, 1991

Steve McCurry

Men Shovel Debris In Kabul, 1993

Steve McCurry

Men Fight In Trenches During Civil War, 1995

Steve McCurry

Refugee Camp In Peshawar, 1984

Steve McCurry

A Young Boy Stands With His Firearm, 1979

Steve McCurry

Man Walking In The Himalayas, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Boy With Plough, Afghanistan, 2002

Steve McCurry

Village In The Mountains, Yemen, 1997

Steve McCurry

Afghan Girl Hiding Her Face, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984

Steve McCurry

Herat After Ten Years Of Bombing, Herat, Afghanistan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Afghan Women At Shoe Store, Kabul, Afghanistan,1992

Steve McCurry

Smoking Coal Miner, Pol-E-Khomri, Afghanistan, 2002

Steve McCurry

Procession Of Nuns, Rangoon, Burma, 1994

Steve McCurry

Lux Soap, Rangoon, Burma, 1994

Steve McCurry

Red Boy, Holi Festival, Mumbai (Bombay), India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Three Men On Steps, Jodhpur, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Man With Many Bells, Guwahati, Assam, India, 2001

Steve McCurry

Man Beneath Stairs, Jodhpur, India, 2005

Steve McCurry

Camels And Oil Fields, Al Ahmadi, Kuwait, 1991

Steve McCurry

Girl With Green Shawl, Peshawar, Pakistan, 2002

Steve McCurry

Boats On The Sulu Sea, Philippines, 1985

Steve McCurry

Fishermen, Weligama, South Coast, Sri Lanka, 1995

Steve McCurry

Woman At A Horse Festival, Tagong, Tibet, 1999

Steve McCurry

Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Russian Car In Old Havana, Cuba, 2010

Steve McCurry

Villagers Participating In The Holi Festival, Rajasthan, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 2007

Steve McCurry

Flower Seller, Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir, 1996

Steve McCurry

Shaolin Monks Training, Zhengzhou, China, 2004

Steve McCurry

Prayer Flags, Machen, Tibet, 2001

Steve McCurry

Wreckage At Ground-Zero, New York, 12 September 2001

Steve McCurry

Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, New York, 1994

Steve McCurry

Geisha In Subway, Kyoto, Japan, 2007

Steve McCurry

Monk At Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet, 2000

Steve McCurry

Backstage Ballerina During A Performance Of Swan Lake, 1990

Steve McCurry

Dust Storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Road To Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Fisherman, Dal Lake, Kashmir, 1999

Steve McCurry

Market Vendors On Dal Lake, Kashmir, 1999

Steve McCurry

Rabari Shepherd, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Jodhpur Fruit Vendor, Jodhpur, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Rooftops, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Stepwell And Birds, India, 2012

Steve McCurry

Camels In Dust Storm, India, 2010

Steve McCurry

Flower Seller, Kashmir, India, 1998

Steve McCurry

Man Covered In Powder, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Stepwell, India, 2002

Steve McCurry

Moonrise In Mumbai, India, 1994

Steve McCurry

Welder In A Ship Breaking Yard, Mumbai, India, 1994

Steve McCurry

Villagers Celebrating The Festival Of Holi, Vrindavan, Rajasthan, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

A Decorated Elephant And Sleeping People, India, 2012

Steve McCurry

Taj And Train, Agra, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Mother And Child At Car Window, Bombay, India, 1993

Steve McCurry

A Villager Participating In The Festival Of Holi, Rajasthan, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Rajasthan Shadows, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Cluster Of Women During A Dust Storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Calcutta, India, 1996

Steve McCurry

Train Station At Old Delhi, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Train Station, Agra, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Clothes On The Banks Of The Ganges, India, 2010

Steve McCurry

The Blue City, India, 2010

Steve McCurry

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, India, 1994

Steve McCurry

Jodphur Cityscape

Steve McCurry

Teeth Maker In Kandahar, Afghanistan, 1998

Steve McCurry

Mujahideen Stand Atop A Mountain In The Hindu Kush, 1984

Steve McCurry

Father And Daughter At Home In Nuristan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Men Attend Mine Awareness Program In Kandahar, 1992

Steve McCurry

Father And Son In Helmand Province, 1980

Steve McCurry

Blue Mosque, Mazar E Sharif, 1992

Steve McCurry

Kuchi Nomads At Prayer, 1992

Steve McCurry

Woman In Canary Burqa, 2002

Steve McCurry

Horse And Two Towers At Band-E-Amir, 2002

Steve McCurry

Salat At Blue Mosque In Mazar-E-Sharif, 1992

Steve McCurry

Farmer In Jalalabad, 1992

Steve McCurry

Young Men Train For War, 1984

Steve McCurry

Kandahar Bazaar, 1992

Steve McCurry

Mujahideen Fighters Watch Convoy, Nuristan, Afghanistan, 1979

Steve McCurry

Camel Caravan, Southern Afghanistan, 1980

Steve McCurry

Men Watch As Tanks Go By, Afghanistan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Portrait Photographer, Afghanistan, 1992

Steve McCurry

Man In Bamiyan Mosque, 2006

Steve McCurry

Girl Between Two Women In Bazaar, 2002

Steve McCurry

Brickmaker Prays In Bamiyan, 2006

Steve McCurry

Mujahid Prays, 1980

Steve McCurry

Mujahideen Leader Speaks To Fighters, Afghanistan, 1980

Steve McCurry

Young Mujahideen On Swing, 1980

Steve McCurry

An Afghan Refugee In Balochistan, Pakistan, 1981

Steve McCurry

Grand Central Station, New York, Usa, 2010

Steve McCurry

Houseboat, Kashmir, 1996

Steve McCurry

Ship Breaking Yard, Karachi, Pakistan, 1985

Steve McCurry

Monsoon Skies Over Bihar, India, 1983

Steve McCurry

Quissa Khawani Bazaar, Pakistan, 1984

Steve McCurry

Boy In Mid-Flight, Jodhpur, India, 2007

Steve McCurry

Mingun Pagoda, Mandalay, Burma, 1994

Steve McCurry

Intha Fisherman, Burma, 2011

Steve McCurry

Clover Gatherers In Wadi Hadramawt, Near Shibam, Yemen, 1999

Steve McCurry

A Pilgrim In Drango Monastery, Tibet, 1999

Steve McCurry

Family Rides Donkey, Afghanistan, 2003

Steve McCurry

Children Play On Tank, Lebanon, 1982

Steve McCurry

Aerial View Of Sanaa, Yemen, 1997

Steve McCurry

Girl In A New Coat, Xigaze, Tibet, 2001

Steve McCurry

Boys Herding Goats, Hajjah, Yemen, 1999

Steve McCurry

Rajastani Man With Clock, India, 2009

Steve McCurry

Bird Seller, Afghanistan, 2002

Steve McCurry

Chand Baori Stepwell, Rajasthan, India, 2016

Steve McCurry

Flower Vendor On Dal Lake, 1996

Steve McCurry

Young Man Walks Behind An Elephant, Sri Lanka, 1995

Steve McCurry

Boat Covered In Snow In Sankei-En Gardens, Japan, 2014

Steve McCurry

Man Walks On Crawick Mulitverse, United Kingdom. 2016

Steve McCurry

Aqueduct Of Padre Tembleque, Mexico. 2016

Steve McCurry

Refugees Shelter In Destroyed Building, Afghanistan. 2002

Steve McCurry

Brick Worker, Afghanistan. 2006

Steve McCurry

Men Raking Hay, Baluchistan

Steve McCurry

Men And Women With Camel, Baluchistan

Steve McCurry

Fisherman On Inle Lake, Burma. 2008

Steve McCurry

Man On Train, Burma. 2011

Steve McCurry

Young Shopkeeper Selling Tools, Cambodia

Steve McCurry

Men Crossing Monsoon River, India. 1983

Steve McCurry

Rabari Women At Work, India. 2009

Steve McCurry

Woman In Varanasi, India. 2010

Steve McCurry

Bicycles On Side Of Train, India. 1983

Steve McCurry

Fishermen Checking Their Nets, Kashmir. 1999

Steve McCurry

Mud Mosque In Djenne, Mali

Steve McCurry

Child In Desert, Mauritania

Steve McCurry

Boy With Banana Leaf, Nepal

Steve McCurry

Men And Elephants, Thailand

Steve McCurry

Early Life

Steve McCurry was born in 1950 and grew up in Philadelphia. During a gap year, McCurry spent several months in Stockholm, Amsterdam and the Middle East before going to the College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University to study filmmaking. Whilst studying he started taking photographs for the college newspaper, The Daily Collegian. He graduated with a degree in theatre arts in 1974.

Early Photographic Career

Having worked as a staff photographer at the Philadelphia newspaper, Today’s Post, for several years, in 1978 McCurry left his job and bought a one-way ticket to India with only a bag of clothes and film. After spending months travelling around India, he crossed the border into Pakistan and met a group of Afghan refugees in Chitral who told him about the devastating consequences of the civil war in Afghanistan. In May 1979 McCurry crossed the border into Afghanistan, disguised in native garb. Travelling with the mujahideen, McCurry documented the human cost of the Afghan-Soviet War. He smuggled his rolls of film out of Afghanistan by sewing them into his clothes. His photographs of the conflict were published in The New York Times and Time magazine. They were some of the first images of the conflict to emerge from the country and won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for the Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise.

In 1984 McCurry was approached by National Geographic to photograph the refugee camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border. In the Nasir Bagh camp McCurry found a tent that had been set up as a girls’ school. He noticed one girl with particularly startling green eyes. He recalls “she had an intense, haunted look, a really penetrating gaze – and yet she was only about twelve years old… I guess she was as curious about me as I was about her. After a few moments she got up and walked away, but for an instant everything was right – the light, the background, the expression in her eyes.” That moment when “everything was right” resulted in arguably the most widely recognised photograph of the twentieth century.

Recent Work

Over the next three decades McCurry travelled the world, seeking the most important places from which to report picture stories. McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including Burma, Sri Lanka, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, and the former Yugoslavia. His coverage of Afghanistan and Tibet has been on going throughout his career. Instead of photographing combat, McCurry tends to focus on the human cost of war, often producing arresting portraits and figure studies. He focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but also on the faces of its victims.

McCurry’s work has been featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in National Geographic magazine with recent articles on Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. A high point in his career was the rediscovery of the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl. When McCurry finally located Sharbat Gula “after almost two decades”, he said, “her skin is weathered; there are wrinkles now, but she is as striking as she was all those years ago.”

Returning from an extended assignment in China, McCurry’s coverage of the September 11th attacks in 2001 have since become a key document of the events, and is a testament to the heroism and nobility of the people of New York City. McCurrry’s photographs of Ground Zero were published in New York September 11th, by Magnum Photographers. His photograph of the collapse on the North Tower was used as the front cover.

Having shot on Kodachrome for thirty years, Kodak asked McCurry to shoot the last roll of the famous transparency film, the product of which is housed at the George Eastman House.

Exhibitions and Awards

McCurry is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers’ Association in 1984. In the same year, he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest. He has also twice won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world, including Germany, Italy, Mexico and the United States of America.