Etherton Gallery Presents World-Renowned “Afghan Girl” Photographer, Steve McCurry
McCurry to attend Gallery Reception and Book Signing, Saturday, September 8
15 August 2018: Etherton Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition of the 2018-2019 season, The Unguarded Moment, which highlights a selection of photographs made in Asia and the Middle East by legendary Magnum photographer Steve McCurry. McCurry is best known for his richly colored photographs of rural life, street scenes, and unforgettable portraits like the famed Afghan Girl (1984), arguably one of the most recognizable photographs in the world. In a world flooded with images, his photographs take up residence within you and transcend the specific time and place of their making. Photographs of India’s hijra communities by Japanese photographer Takeshi Ishikawa will be on display in the Axial Gallery. The Hijras are part of an indigenous transgender tradition in South Asia. Takeshi Ishikawa was W. Eugene Smith’s assistant in Minamata, Japan in the early 1970s, and has been photographing hijra communities in India since the 1990s.
The Unguarded Moment opens September 4 and runs through November 10, 2018. Steve McCurry will attend the opening reception and book signing 7-10pm, Saturday, September 8th. This is a rare opportunity for Tucsonans to meet a photographer whose images have shaped our vision of the world.
Etherton Gallery has collaborated with the Center for Creative Photography and arranged for Steve McCurry to give a public talk at 5:30pm, Friday, September 7 at the Center. The format will be a conversation with the new Director of the Center for Creative Photography, Anne Breckenridge Barrett.
For more information about Steve McCurry, Takeshi Ishikawa or the exhibition please contact Daphne Srinivasan or Hannah Glasston at Etherton Gallery (520) 624-7370 or [email protected]
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, several books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.
Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania McCurry studied film at Penn. 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 a 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 over six 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 is the recipient of 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 Orders of Arts and Letters, and recently the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Award for Lifetime Achievement. Steve McCurry has published sixteen books of his photographs among them: Afghanistan (2017); On Reading (2016); India (2015); From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail (2015); Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013); and The Iconic Photographs (2011).
Takeshi Ishikawa was born on Shikoku Island in Japan in 1950. In 1971, he obtained a degree in photography from Tokyo Visual Arts. As a result of a chance encounter with W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) on a Tokyo street that September, Ishikawa became Smith’s assistant on the Minamata project. In November 1974, the Minamata Project ended in Japan, and four months later Ishikawa followed W. Eugene Smith to New York. Ishikawa lived in Smith’s apartment, pushed through the publication of MINAMATA and accompanying exhibition at the International Center for Photography. Ishikawa became a freelance photographer in 1975. In 1980, he began photographing the Hijra, the transgender community in India. In 1988, photographs from HIJRAS were exhibited at the Minolta Gallery in Japan. In 1995, his book HIJRA was published by SEIKYUSYA in Japan. Over the last 30 years, Ishikawa has spent his career documenting the hijras in India, the sadhus (religious ascetics) in Hinduism, and pursuing other themes which juxtapose the sanctity and dignity of human beings with their blasphemy and destruction.
Etherton Gallery will donate a portion of the exhibition proceeds to ImagineAsia (http://www.imagine-asia.net) a non-profit established by McCurry which works with local communities to provide educational resources and opportunities to children in Afghanistan, including the Young Women's Photography Initiative.(http://imagine-asia.net/what-we-do/young-womens-photography-initiative/)