Philadelphia born artist Steve McCurry is one of the world’s leading contemporary travel photographers. His origins lie in photojournalism, having freelanced for some years for the local paper after graduation from Pennsylvania State University.
He is best known for the famous image of the ‘Afghan Girl’ – one of the most iconic photographs to have appeared on the cover of National Geographic, since becoming widely used on Amnesty International brochures, posters, and calendars. Much of his travel consisted of politicised commissions such as this, and he has famously covered the Iran–Iraq War, Lebanon Civil War, the Cambodian Civil War, the Islamic insurgency in the Philippines, the Gulf War and the Afghan Civil War, as well as having been present at the collapse of the World Trade Centre towers.
However, his original passion for travel photography was ignited after a year living in India. His focus is almost invariably on the human subjects within his compositions, and it is for this sensitivity that he has become so sought out and renowned; the landscape or landmarks secondary to his exploration of the human condition. Works such as the examples offered here for sale demonstrate his deep fascination with and affection for the country of India, its people, and their way of life. McCurry describes his artistic motivation: “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.”
On Wednesday 17 April, two superb works from Steve McCurry, ‘Fisherman, Weligama, South Coast Sri Lanka – 1995’ and ‘Train Station Agra, India – 1983’, will be offered in our auction of Contemporary & Post-War Art in Edinburgh.