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Steve McCurry

American, b. 1950

Steve McCurry is an American photographer who gained international acclaim for his arresting portrait of a young refugee known simply as Afghan Girl.

Originally published on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, the photograph shows a young Pashtun orphan, later identified as Sharbat Gula, who was living in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, during the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. The image is emblematic of McCurry’s work, which has brought him to war zones across the globe. Rather than focusing on the violence of the battlefield, McCurry seeks to capture the human face of conflict, distilling what is universal and recognizable in each portrait.

McCurry was born in Philadelphia and attended Penn State University, graduating cum laude with a degree in theater arts in 1974. After several years working at a newspaper in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, he left to work as a freelancer in India, where he honed his skill for capturing unguarded moments in daily life. Just prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in 1979, he crossed the border from Pakistan into Afghan rebel–controlled territory, wearing native garb to disguise himself, with rolls of film sewn into his clothing. The photographs he took there were among the first in the world to document the conflict, and his work was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for “photographic reporting from abroad.”

Over the course of his career, McCurry has documented daily life alongside conflicts in Cambodia, the Philippines, the former Yugoslavia, Beirut, Iraq, Afghanistan and Tibet. Though his photos depict serious and sometimes frightening situations, his ability to connect with subjects and capture something of their personalities allows his images to transcend the documentarian distance of wartime journalism. The results are real portraits that happen to be set in tough situations. Welder in a Ship Breaking Yard, Mumbai, India (1994), for instance, reveals only the subject’s eyes, but they’re so intently fixed on McCurry’s lens that they seem to express volumes. Monk Running on Wall (2004) shows a young monk defying gravity as he skitters along an exterior wall of the Shaolin Monastery in Henan, China, over the heads of his friends. Like a Baroque painting, McCurry’s picture captures a moment of dynamic action that reveals something instantly recognizable in a subject from another part of the world.

Find original Steve McCurry photography on 1stDibs.

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Camel and Oil Fields, Al Ahmadi, Kuwait, 1991 - Steve McCurry
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Boy In Mid-Flight, Jodhpur, India, 2007 - Steve McCurry (Colour Photography)
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Hazara School Children, 2018
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Steve McCurry is an American photographer, freelancer, and photojournalist. His photo Afghan Girl, of a girl with piercing green eyes, has appeared on the cover of National Geographi...
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Chand Baori Stepwell, Rajasthan, India, 2016 - Steve McCurry(Colour Photography)
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Chand Baori Stepwell, Rajasthan, India, 2016 - Steve McCurry(Colour Photography) Signed and numbered on photographer’s edition label on reverse Digital c-type print Edition of 30 2...
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Mother Carrying Child, Llasa, Tibet
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Train Station at Old Delhi, India, 1983 - Steve McCurry (Colour Photography)
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Train Station at Old Delhi, India, 1983 - Steve McCurry (Colour Photography) Signed and affixed with photographer's edition label and numbered on reverse Digital c-type print Printed...
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Girl With Green Shawl, Peshawar, Pakistan, 2002 - Steve McCurry(Colour Portrait)
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Girl With Green Shawl, Peshawar, Pakistan, 2002 - Steve McCurry(Colour Portrait) Signed and affixed with photographer's edition label and numbered on reverse Digital c-type print Edi...
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Intha Fisherman, Burma, 2011 - Steve McCurry (Colour Landscape Photography)
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Browse all Art from Steve McCurry
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Galleries Featuring Steve McCurry

Huxley-Parlour
5 / 5
Cavalier Ebanks Galleries
4.6 / 5
Peter Fetterman Gallery
5 / 5
Besharat Gallery
5 / 5
International Fine Arts Consortium - IFAC Arts
4.9 / 5
Sundaram Tagore Gallery
5 / 5
HK Art Advisory
No Reviews Yet
Staley-Wise Gallery
5 / 5

Artists Similar to Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Steve McCurry art for sale. You can find work that includes elements of blue, red, orange and other colors if you are browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom. You can browse by medium to find art by Steve McCurry in pigment print, archival pigment print, and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 21st Century and Contemporary, and is mostly associated with the Contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Steve McCurry art, so small editions measuring 14 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Bert Stern, Maggie Taylor and Lisa Toboz.. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $3,500 and tops out at $66,000, while the average work can sell for $5,500.