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Steve McCurry
France, 2012 Photo by © Bruno Barbey
Steve McCurry
Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry

Country: United States
Birth: 1950

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahedeen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images on all seven continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. The Minister of French Culture has also appointed McCurry a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and most recently, the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (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), Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013), From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail (2015), India (2015), and On Reading (2016), Afghanistan (2017), A Life in Pictures (2018), Animals (2019).

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jonathan Banks
United Kingdom
1971
Jonathan Banks is an award-winning photographer with over 20 years' experience in commercial and media photography. Jonathan Banks studied under the prolific artist John Blakemore, and graduated from the University of Derby with a BA honours in Photographic Studies. He cut his teeth in editorial photography freelancing for The Daily Telegraph and various agencies. His work has appeared in international magazines and books. Jonathan has exhibited several bodies of work as a solo artist, as well as in conjunction with other photographers in the UK and abroad. These have ranged from – personal projects to editorial assignments and photographs supporting various charities. Jonathan has always worked with NGOs both in the U.K. and abroad. He is a British Red Cross volunteer and has exhibited work in support of International Alert. Jonathan currently works with a stable of blue chip clients, NGOs and architects providing a range of photographic and film services. Jonathan lives in Kent with his wife and two sons. Statement I have photographed in over 50 different countries, documenting subjects as diverse as mask dancing festivals in Burkina Faso, the effects of the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine and the aftermath of 9/11 in New York. My international experience includes working in security impaired areas, where my communication skills and sensitivity allow me to capture subjects in the most challenging situations. Combined with my creativity and technical knowhow, this enables me to deliver award-winning images. I am passionate about my work and embrace the challenges of collaborating with global corporations, magazines and NGOs alike. Every assignment is different, and, as such, is approached uniquely. I am always on the lookout for new creative partnerships.
Don Hong-Oai
China
1929 | † 2004
Don Hong-Oai was born in Canton, China in 1929 as the youngest son to a business family and was raised and educated in Saigon, Vietnam. At age 13 he began an apprenticeship at a Chinese photo and portrait shop. In 1979 he immigrated to the United States and settled in Chinatown of San Francisco. Don began making a living by selling his landscape photographs in front of Macy’s and began to receive recognition for his craftsmanship. His style was heavily influenced by the legendary photographer Long Chin-San and his technique of layering negatives. By taking three negatives, foreground, middle ground, and far ground, and selecting a subject from each negative, Don would form one composite image of a serene landscape. All the various scenes in an image existed in reality, but each uniquely handcrafted photograph in its entirety is a concoction of the artist's imagination. Each photograph was assembled only by the artist himself thus he never had an assistant nor a master printer like some photographers. His work has won scores of international awards and has been collected worldwide. Sadly, Don passed away in San Francisco in 2004. Don was born in Canton, China in 1929 and spent most of his life in Vietnam. As a young boy in Saigon he apprenticed at a photography studio. When he was not at the studio, he traveled and took photographs of the landscape. He stayed in Vietnam through the war, but fled by boat to California in 1979. He lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown where he had a small darkroom to create his photographs. While living the US he returned to China every few years to make new negatives. Only in the last few years of his life was his work discovered by a wider public, and he was kept very busy making prints for collectors across the US and elsewhere. Don died in June 2004. The photographs of Don Hong-Oai are made in a unique style of photography, which can be considered Asian pictorialism. This method of adapting a Western art for Eastern purposes probably originated in the 1940s in Hong Kong. One of its best known practitioners was the great master Long Chin-San (who died in the 1990s at the age of 104) with whom Don Hong-Oai studied. With the delicate beauty and traditional motifs of Chinese painting (birds, boats, mountains, etc.) in mind, photographers of this school used more than one negative to create a beautiful picture, often using visual allegories. Realism was not a goal. Don Hong-Oai was one of the last photographers to work in this manner. He is also arguably the best. He has won hundreds of awards given by photography societies throughout Asia and by international juries of Kodak and Nikon. Source: www.gallery71.com
Jeff Brouws
United States
1955
Jeff Brouws, born in San Francisco in 1955, is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narratives and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced by the New Topographic Movement, the artist books of Ed Ruscha (to whom Brouws paid homage with his Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations project in 1992) as well as the writings of cultural geographers like J.B. Jackson, Dolores Hayden, John Stilgoe, Mike Davis and Leo Marx, Brouws has combined anthropological inquiry with a somber aesthetic vision mining the overlooked, the obsolete, and the mundane. Initially engaged with what Walker Evans termed the "historical contemporary" along America's secondary highways beginning in the late 1980s, over the following twenty years Brouws has extended this inquiry into the everyday places occupied by most Americans – the franchised landscapes of strip malls, homogenized housing tracts and fast food chains. Since moving to the Northeast in the late 1990s, Brouws has also investigated inner city areas, abandoned manufacturing sites, and other commercial ruins found in Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland and Youngstown. His photographs of these discarded spaces—the byproducts of de-industrialization, white flight, disinvestment, and failed urban policy—suggest an underlying disparity throughout a country that purports economic equality and social justice for all. Alongside his photographic practice, for the past thirty years Brouws has researched and written about the historic and aesthetic development of railroad photography in America, authoring and editing numerous books on the subject including The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy, A Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer, and his most recent publication (edited with Wendy Burton) Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs. In 2013 Brouws (along with co-editors Wendy Burton and Hermann Zschiegner and authors Phil Taylor and Mark Rawlinson) published Various Small Books: Referencing the Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (MIT Press). This was a multi-year, collaborative project involving ninety artists from around the world. Honoring Ruscha’s seminal books from the 1960s and 70s like Twentysix Gasoline Stations, VSB went on to become the defacto catalog for the Ed Ruscha: Books & Co exhibition staged at the Gagosian Gallery, New York and the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Brouws’s photography is represented by The Robert Mann Gallery, The Robert Koch Gallery, The Robert Klein Gallery, and The Craig Krull Gallery. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Chen Jiagang
China
1962
Born in 1962 in Chong Qing, Chen Jiagang began his career as a celebrated architect and real estate developer before making the transition to photography. In 1999, he was named one of twelve "Outstanding Young Architects" by the United Nations. Jiagang is the founder of the Sichuan Upriver Museum, the first private museum in China and the author of Third Front (Timezone 8 Limited, 2007). He currently lives and works in Beijing.Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery Although originally trained as an architect (and awarded by the UN the accolade of being one of the 12 ‘outstanding young architects' in China), Chen Jiagang has been a practicing photographer for over 12 years, and has exhibited widely since 1999. He has twice been awarded the Excellent Works Award at the annual China Photographic Arts Exhibitions. Chen photographs often feature obsolete and useless factories, hidden away in his country's hinterlands. Among these monumental, abandoned ruins, these industrial leftovers, he places ghostly human figures, reminding us of the workers who lost their jobs and were sent back home to start again. He documents the effects on society of China's extraordinary development drive in these large, sumptuous compositions.Source: Waterhouse & Dodd 1980-1984 studied in Architecture Department of Chongqing Architecture College from 1980 to 1984. 1984-1992 worked in Southwest Architecture Design Institute as a National Certified Architect, and had been awarded grand architecture prizes in various types for many times. 1992 founded the Company of Chengdu Haosi Property Development. 1996 the Company of Sichuan Gangjia Architecture Design. 1997 founded Sichuan Upriver Stock Co., Ltd. 1997 founded Upriver Art Gallery, the first private Art Gallery in China. 1998 founded Chengdu Upriver Guildhall and Kunming Upriver Guildhall. 1999 elected as one of the twelve "Outstanding Young Architect" of China by UN. 2001 Bigining to be an artist from then on. 2002 The excellent works prize of the 20th China Photographic Exhibition. 2003 The excellent works prize of the 21th China Photographic Exhibition. Personal Exhibitions 2012 Diseased City, Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery, Paris, France Chen Jiagang photography, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Max Yavno
United States
1911 | † 1985
Max Yavno (1911-1985) was a photographer who specialized in street scenes, especially in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. The son of Russian immigrants, Yavno was born in New York on April 26, 1911. He had one sister. He was married at age 19 and divorced three years later. He died in April 1985 of complications resulting from a fall in a shower. Yavno worked as a Wall Street messenger while attending City College of New York at night. He attended the graduate school of political economics at Columbia University and worked in the Stock Exchange before becoming a social worker in 1935. He did photography for the Works Progress Administration from 1936 to 1942. He was president of the Photo League in 1938 and 1939. Yavno was in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945, after which he moved to San Francisco and began specializing in urban-landscape photography. History professor Constance B. Schulz said of him: "For financial reasons he worked as a commercial advertising photographer for the next twenty years (1954–75), creating finely crafted still lifes that appeared in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He returned to artistic landscape photography in the 1970s, when his introspective approach found a more appreciative audience. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to travel to Egypt and Israel in 1979." He also captured a pre-Dodgers Chavez Ravine, a giant plaster leg on top of a building in West Los Angeles and a "nostalgic" shot of a cable car being turned around at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco. His noted photograph of a crowd watching "sun-worshipping bodybuilders at Muscle Beach in Venice" sold at auction in 1984 for almost $4,000. He said he had spent three Sundays at the beach before the subjects "stopped flexing for his camera and resumed posing for each other." His obituary in the Los Angeles Times said that: Melrose Avenue photo gallery owner G. Ray Hawkins, who represented Yavno and exhibited his works, called him a "social documentarian" and noted that he had "a very special ability for combining composition and content while capturing his social vignettes." Photographer Edward Steichen selected twenty of Yavno's prints for the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1950, and the next year Yavno won a Guggenheim Fellowship. Source: Wikipedia Yavno graduated from City College of New York in 1932 and earned a graduate degree in business administration from Columbia University in 1933. Originally employed as a social worker for the New York Home Relief Bureau (1935), he was later hired by the Works Progress Administration to photograph city locations for use in theater set design (1936-42). Yavno joined the Photo League in the late 1930s, serving as president in 1938-39 and participating in several exhibitions. He became friends with Consuelo Kanaga, who mentored him in his photographic work. He worked with Aaron Siskind on his unfinished project The Most Crowded Block in the World (1941). Yavno was drafted into the Army Air Force that year, but remained on detached service in New York. He later moved to California, where he provided illustrative photographs for two books: The San Francisco Book, with Herb Caenn (1948) and The Los Angeles Book, with Lee Shippey (1950). In the mid-seventies, Yavno resumed noncommercial photography, expanding his terrain from the streets of New York City and Los Angeles to those of Jerusalem and Cairo. Source: The Jewish Museum
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