Curated by Biba Giacchetti and Peter Bottazzi, the summer exhibition of photographer Steve McCurry in Teatro1, next to the buildings that house “Cinecittà si Mostra”, aims to tell the adventure of Steve McCurry’s life and of his profession. Thanks to a series of videos showcasing his extraordinary experiences and his conception of photography, the visitor is guided into McCurry’s world. For more than 35 years Steve McCurry (travelling since he was 19) has been a wanderer by choice documenting what life is like across six continents. His work ranges from conflicts to the ethnic groups in the process of disappearing, from ancient traditions to contemporary cultures, always focusing on the human values of the people in front of his camera.
“One of the most important things we can do in this life, which is so brief, is see this planet and experience the world we live in. What else is more important? For that we need to travel and to photograph and record some of the cultures that are vanishing. It is almost recording history. It is kind of a memory of the way we were.” McCurry sees photography as an important form of human expression. According to him there is always that need to have an image to go back to. This image gets burned into our memory. It’s something we will not forget, it stays there forever, lingering in the back of your mind. And, to have that image on the wall or in a book, that’s the thing people draw, maybe, inspiration from. A picture should really grab us, we look and we learn something, understand something, there is emotion, that’s the ideal he is looking for.
The interaction between space, light, and people
In his current Cinecittà exhibition Steve McCurry’s presents his most recent works and a series of images that are related to his research into the interaction between space, light, and people. The exhibition shows the outcome of his latest research and travels as well as some of his best-known images, such as the portrait of Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl with the sea green eyes, first published on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985 (the most successful cover in its history). Steve McCurry always shows his talent to create a complex universe of experiences and emotions in every shot. Although colour plays a vital role in his photographs, he thinks colour is secondary. “Often you need just two or three colors. A red bucket in the background can spoil a colour picture. A red bucket in a black and white photograph is only a grey object. You have to edit yourself as you shoot. There must be a flow and a balance not only of colour but also of composition. Then there comes a point at which things make sense and come to rest.”
Named one of the most documentary icons of contemporary photography, Steve McCurry has won the World Press Photo four times, a feat no one has ever managed to achieve before him. He not only is one of the greatest masters of photography of our time, but also a reference point for a large audience and especially for young people, who in his photographs recognize a way of looking at our (often confusing and fast changing) world, and, in a sense, “acknowledge themselves” in his photographs.
Not the first time in Rome’s Cinecittà
It is not the first time Steve McCurry is working in Rome’s Cinecittà. The first encounter between Steve McCurry and Cinecittà took place few years ago and was an immediate ‘love at first sight’. In the city of cinema Steve McCurry captured stunning and quirky images of sets and warehouses enriching his research and showing at the same time its surreal character.
McCurry has published books such as: The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), Looking East (2006), In the Shadow of Mountains (2007), The Unguarded Moment. (2009), The Iconic Photographs (2011), and Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013).
Steve McCurry’s new exhibition BEYOND SIGHT
18 April – 20 September 2015
Teatro1, Cinecittà si Mostra,
Via Tuscolana 1055, 00173 Rome.