B. United States, 1950
B. United States1950
Steve McCurry is best known for his evocative colour photographs that document social issues in wider global geopolitics. His photography spans conflict, traditions, and cultures; retaining a human element throughout. A member of Magnum Photos since 1986, McCurry has travelled extensively to photograph warzones, burning oil fields, refugee camps, ship breaking yards, and natural disasters.
He is well known for his early work in Afghanistan, where he documented the human cost of the Afghan-Soviet war in the late 1970s. His photographs of the conflict were amongst the first to present the truth of the Russian invasion, and were subsequently published in The New York Times and Time magazine. His images garnered worldwide attention, eventually winning him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for the Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad. In 1984 McCurry worked with National Geographic to photograph the refugee camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border. In the Nasir Bagh camp, McCurry produced his celebrated portrait of Sharbut Gula, used on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985.
McCurry’s coverage of Afghanistan and Tibet has been ongoing throughout his career. He has also covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including Burma, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Cambodia, the Philippines, former Yugoslavia, and the Gulf War. Instead of photographing combat, McCurry is known to focus on the human cost of war, often producing arresting portraits and figure studies. McCurry’s work has been featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in National Geographic with recent articles on Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. McCurry’s coverage of the September 11th attacks in 2001 have since become a key document of the events, and his 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.
Steve McCurry became a contributing member of Magnum Photos in 1986. He 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 won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award twice. He was awarded the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Royal Photographic Society in London in 2014. 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. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world, including Germany, Italy, Mexico and the United States of America. McCurry has published several books, including Monsoon (1988), The Path to Buddha (2003), Portraits (1999), On Reading (2016), Steve McCurry: A Life in Pictures (2018), and most recently In Search of Elsewhere (2020).
He lives and works in New York.
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