About the Authors: Virginia Shore and Camille Benton serve as Curators for ART in EMBASSIES.
President Obama's trip to India this week underscored the importance of the country's influence. Political strength, social customs, commercial interests and daily life form the driving forces for India's growth. The ART in EMBASSIES exhibition for the Ambassador's residence in New Delhi seeks to capture this energy with the inclusion of a series of photographs by Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today's finest documentary image-makers.
McCurry has an uncanny ability to cross boundaries of language and culture to capture stories of human experience. The essence of human struggle and joy appear in bold, colorful, evocative images that have earned McCurry top accolades from his peers. "Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person's face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape that you could call the human condition."
McCurry's fascination with India began shortly after he graduated from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was in India that McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. "If you wait," he realized, "people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view." His work allows the viewer an intimate encounter that invites inquiry. He's returned to India 75 times. Each trip produces new insights and images into a country rich in diversity.
Steve McCurry has also covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including the Iran-Iraq war, the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, and continuing coverage of Afghanistan. He focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face.