Archive for Portraits

Faces of Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2014 by stevemccurry

“A landscape might be denuded,
a human settlement abandoned or lost,
but always,
just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted
humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud.”
-  The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer

_PBS6026_es (1)Kabul

AFGHN-10223Herat

01803_02_es_blogKabul

AFGHN-12331NF (1)Panjshir Valley

Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with
their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
- William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

AFGHN-12691NF2 (1)Kabul

AFGHN-10211Charikar

AFGHN-12329Bamiyan

God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
- Unknown

PAKISTAN-10003Peshawar, Pakistan Afghan refugee 

AFGHN-13164Kabul

AFGHN-12906Bamiyan

AFGHN-13831Bamiyan

AFGHN-12244NF (2)Kunduz

AFGHN-12316Pul-e-Khumri

In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
- Khaled Hosseini

AFGHN-13903Bamiyan

AFGHN-13899Kabul

AFGHN-10242 (1)Kandahar

AFGHN-10143NFPul-e-Khumri

AFGHN-12232Kabul

AFGHN-10060, Pul-i-Khumri, Afghanistan, 1992. A bandaged wounded boy.Pul-e-Khumri

AFGHN-12092Ghazni

AFGHN-12772Bamiyan

AFGHN-12355Kabul

A French man who worked for the ICRC had been to inspect one of Kabul’s
prisons to
check on the conditions of the prisoners.
After their names had all been verified, he noticed a door which had remained unopened for the inspection. 

The prison guard had been reluctant to open it;
behind it was just an old man in solitary confinement, he had said.
But it was the man’s job to count the prisoners, and he insisted on being shown inside.

When the door was open, he caught sight of a half-naked old man in the freezing and windowless cell.
The old man had tottered to his feet, lifted the scrap of cloth on which he sat,
brushed the dust from it and stepped back, smiling, to offer the space to his guest.
- Jason Elliott, An Unexpected Light

AFGHN-12201NF4Kabul

Beetles & Huxley Gallery
Afghanistan
London, UK
12 May through 7 June 2014

Reflections on Portraiture

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by stevemccurry

 What could be more simple and more complex,
more obvious and more profound than a portrait.
- Charles Baudelaire 

ETHIOPIA-10319Ethiopia

Los Angeles, California, USA, 1991, USA-10023Portraits_BookPORTRAITS_BookLos Angeles, California, United States

As human beings we are fascinated with how we and others look.
Diane Arbus talked about the gap between intention and effect as revealed in portraiture.
People put on make-up and adorn themselves because they want to create an effect and
give a certain impression, but often other people look at them and say it’s tragic or comical or curious or funny or odd.
Portraiture can be that kind of sharp critique.

ITALY-10427NF2Italy

00008_11, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002Kabul, Afghanistan

A good portrait is one that says something about the person. 
We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the
good portrait should also say something about the human condition.

01512 031Mizoram, India

TIBET-10605NFTibet

Most of my portraits are not formal situations;
they are found situations. 

Restaurant, Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002, final book_iconicBamiyan, Afghanistan

The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and
the eyes mark its intentions.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

VIETNAM-10004Vietnam

INDIA-10582NFIndia

TIBET-10663Tibet

There is no single form or style of portraiture.
Portraiture means individualism and as such means diversity,
self-expression, private point of view.

The most successful images seem to be those which exist on several planes at once …
- Peter Bunnell

INDIA-11771NFIndia

ETHIOPIA-10235 (1)Ethiopia

A true portrait should today and a hundred years from today, be the
testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.
– 
 Philippe Halsman

AFGHN-13027Afghanistan

BURMA-10410Burma

BANGLADESH-10020Bangladesh

YEMEN-10004NFYemen

INDIA-11525 (1)India

Photography and the genre of portraiture have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship.
From the beginning of depiction, the portrait has invited its audience to recognize the
identity of the subject and then to remember.
- Anthony Bannon

ETHIOPIA-10304Ethiopia

Portraits reveal a desire for human connection;
a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again

open themselves to the camera,  all in the hope that at the other end
someone will be watching,

someone who will laugh or suffer with them.

AFGHN-10211Afghanistan

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and
put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

FRANCE-10028, France, 1989France

Upcoming Exhibitions

Alex Del Piero Gallery
Torino, Italy
16 May 2014 through 31 August 2014

Juminkeko Foundation
Kuhmo, Finland
21 March 2014 through 6 June 2014

 Beetles & Huxley Gallery
London, UK
 May 2014

Frederic Got Fine Art Gallery
Paris, France
May 2014

Theatre de la Photography et de l’Image
Nice, France
27 June 2014 through 28 September 2014

Unseen, Unpublished Portraits

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by stevemccurry
CHAD-10002NF2

Chad

 

“A true portrait should today and a hundred years from today, be the testimony of how this person
looked and what kind of human being he or she was.”
– Philippe Halsman

TIBET-10720NF

Tibet

As human beings we are fascinated with each other and how we look. Diane Arbus talked about the gap between intention and effect as revealed in portraiture. People put on make-up and adorn themselves because they want to create an effect and give a certain impression, but often other people look at them and say it’s tragic or comical or curious or funny or odd.  Portraiture can be that kind of sharp critique.

MOROCCO-10013-(1)

Marrakech, Morocco

 

INDIA-10840

Tibet

Most of my portraits are not formal situations; they are found situations.

TIBET-10663

Tibet

 

We go to another culture to observe how other people live. Sometimes you look at somebody and they have a strong presence, a look, a certain kind of attribute that comes out in the face.

CAMBODIA-10309

Cambodia

INDIA-10736

India

 

BURMA-10191

Burma/Myanmar

A good portrait is one that says something about the person.  We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the good portrait should also say something about the human condition.

AFGHN-12435

Kunduz, Afghanistan

 

AFGHN-10094NFns.khManininsaneasylum

Kabul, Afghanistan

 

INDIA-10647NF

Mumbai, India

 

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