‘India’ on view in Bridgeport from renowned National Geo photog Steve McCurry
Celebrated photojournalist Steve McCurry has been exploring the world for decades, committed to capturing the human experience, often for National Geographic magazine. Through Feb. 10, 44 photographs from the “Steve McCurry: India” collection will be on view at the Housatonic Museum of Art at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.
“McCurry reveals India’s beauty and also remarks on its contradictions. He documents the people, spiritual life, historic sites, urban centers and the landscape creating aesthetically beautiful images that captivate the viewer,” the museum said.
Many of his magazine photos have become iconic, such as “Afghan Girl” (National Geographic, June 1985), with stunning, penetrating eyes, who he photographed in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan.
Born in 1950 in Philadelphia, McCurry graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1974. Following a two-year stint on the staff of Today’s Post newspaper in King of Prussia, Pa., he decided to leave for India to freelance and his exceptional career was launched. His awards are abundant, his travels legendary (recounted in several books); stevemccurry.com. In a previous email interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, McCurry had this to say:
Q: On your website, you are quoted as saying that: “Photography and travel really go hand in hand.” Why is that?
A: I’ve always been driven by a need to explore and wander, and photography for me is the perfect companion to that need. I find that the only way to really understand life from someone else's point of view is to step into their place, both figuratively and literally. There is no substitute for walking with a person in their home to understand what life is really like for these people.
Q: Are you still “savoring the world” with the same level of passion for photography and globe trotting as you had when you first started?
A: I’m driven by an insatiable curiosity about the world around me. I think being inquisitive about life and things around you is an essential part of being a good photographer — curiosity and a sensitive eye go hand in hand, and are how you keep yourself open to new experiences you might otherwise walk right past. When you do what you love, it just sustains itself and I can’t imagine how that would ever diminish.
Q: What is it that you want your portraits to covey ... and what about the landscapes that, although large in character, have us focus on the individual?
A: Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for that unguarded moment, where the essential soul is peeking out, and try to convey some part of what it is like to be that person, or in a broader sense, to relate their life to the human experience as a whole. We humans connect to one another via eye contact -- there is a real power in that shared moment of attention, when you catch a glimpse of what it must be like to be in their shoes. I think this is one of the most powerful things about photography, to relate that sensation.
Housatonic Museum of Art at Housatonic Community College, Lafayette Boulevard and State Street, Bridgeport. Through Friday, Feb. 10. Free. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays to 7 p.m. Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. HousatonicMuseum.org