STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950)

STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950)
Steve McCurry 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.
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MAN WITH MANY BELLS, GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA, 2001 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MAN WITH MANY BELLS, GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA, 2001

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HERAT AFTER TEN YEARS OF BOMBING, HERAT, AFGHANISTAN, 1992 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

HERAT AFTER TEN YEARS OF BOMBING, HERAT, AFGHANISTAN, 1992

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BOATS ON THE SULU SEA, PHILIPPINES, 1985 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

BOATS ON THE SULU SEA, PHILIPPINES, 1985

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WRECKAGE AT GROUND-ZERO, NEW YORK, 12 SEPTEMBER 2001 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

WRECKAGE AT GROUND-ZERO, NEW YORK, 12 SEPTEMBER 2001

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STEPWELL, INDIA, 2002 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

STEPWELL, INDIA, 2002

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GEISHA IN SUBWAY, KYOTO, JAPAN, 2007 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

GEISHA IN SUBWAY, KYOTO, JAPAN, 2007

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TIMES SQUARE, MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, 1994  by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

TIMES SQUARE, MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, 1994

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BLUE MOSQUE, MAZAR E SHARIF, 1992 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

BLUE MOSQUE, MAZAR E SHARIF, 1992

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SALAT AT BLUE MOSQUE IN MAZAR-E-SHARIF, 1992 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

SALAT AT BLUE MOSQUE IN MAZAR-E-SHARIF, 1992

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A DECORATED ELEPHANT AND SLEEPING PEOPLE, INDIA, 2012 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

A DECORATED ELEPHANT AND SLEEPING PEOPLE, INDIA, 2012

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MARKET VENDORS ON DAL LAKE, KASHMIR, 1999 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MARKET VENDORS ON DAL LAKE, KASHMIR, 1999

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PIGEON FEEDING NEAR BLUE MOSQUE, 1991 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

PIGEON FEEDING NEAR BLUE MOSQUE, 1991

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'DALITS' SWEEPING THE STREETS, MUMBAI, INDIA, 1996 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

'DALITS' SWEEPING THE STREETS, MUMBAI, INDIA, 1996

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PEDICABS IN A FLOODED STREET, VARANASI, INDIA, 1983 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

PEDICABS IN A FLOODED STREET, VARANASI, INDIA, 1983

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MONSOON, CHANDNI CHOWK, OLD DELHI, INDIA, 1983 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MONSOON, CHANDNI CHOWK, OLD DELHI, INDIA, 1983

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MAN IN BAMIYAN MOSQUE, 2006 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MAN IN BAMIYAN MOSQUE, 2006

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MEN FIGHT IN TRENCHES DURING CIVIL WAR, 1995 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MEN FIGHT IN TRENCHES DURING CIVIL WAR, 1995

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KUMBH MELA FESTIVAL, ALLAHABAD, INDIA, 2001 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

KUMBH MELA FESTIVAL, ALLAHABAD, INDIA, 2001

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GANESH CHATURTHI FESTIVAL, INDIA, 1994 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

GANESH CHATURTHI FESTIVAL, INDIA, 1994

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CHILDREN WORK IN OPIUM FIELD IN BADAKHSHAN, 1992 by STEVE MCCURRY (Born 1950) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CHILDREN WORK IN OPIUM FIELD IN BADAKHSHAN, 1992

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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.

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