Steve McCurry – Animals

00-animals.jpg

Review by Gerhard Clausing

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. – Immanuel Kant •

Everyone photographs animals, but very few do it well. While we can capture cute expressions of our pets, to understand and depict our fellow creatures from a more comprehensive perspective and with all the skills of a photojournalist, a portrait artist, and a gifted nature photographer, in order to give them the stature they deserve, is much more difficult.

There are some stellar examples from the past. For instance, in his small yet major contribution The Animals (my signed copy is one of my treasures), Garry Winogrand did a marvelous job in visually integrating behaviors of humans and animals from a social perspective, using a zoo as the mutually captive and captivating environment. That project may have been more about limitations rather than about possibilities.

The work of Steve McCurry is much more comprehensive. McCurry travels widely and is known for his superb understanding of other cultures. He is the creator of iconic portraits, such as the one of the girl from Afghanistan, that capture the beauty and strife of entire nations in a single shot and have etched themselves into our collective consciousness, perhaps even into our conscience.

In this photobook animals and humans are given equal status. We see both combined in environmental portraits, and the environments range from untamed nature to man-made dwellings in many regions of the world, especially Asia and South America. The interdependence between the humans and their animals (or the animals and their humans) puts them on an equal footing. This book is McCurry’s touching tribute to our planet, and it encourages us to respect all creatures.

Some of the images are in themselves beautiful reminders of the delicate balance of nature and our existence. We see the comfort that animals and humans give each other. We see the carefree abandon of animals in the wild, and the fine-tuning of their coexistence in cramped human quarters. We see animals and humans affected by natural calamities as well as the constraints of overpopulation. It is also clear from the depictions how much animals depend on the good will and protection of humans, and how intimately the existence of all of us creatures on this planet is intertwined. The portraits of animals are of the special quality that lets their personalities be shown, just like the finest portraits of people.

The images are accompanied by supportive quotes, such as the one at the beginning of this article. There are also detailed notes and location information for each photograph. This is a beautiful, large, well-printed photobook, a showpiece in your collection for all the reasons mentioned above, and most especially because of the superb images that pay tribute to the creatures of the world, as you can see below.

____________

Steve McCurry – Animals

Photographer: Steve McCurry (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; lives and works in Pennsylvania, New York, and Arizona)

Publisher: Taschen, Cologne (Köln), Germany; © 2019

Texts: Quotes, thoughts, captions, context data for the photographs

Language: English

Hardback with illustrated dust cover, sewn binding; 252 pages, paginated, with color images throughout; 25 x 34 cm (10 x 13 ¼ inches); printed in Italy

Editor: Reuel Golden

Photobook Designer: SMITH, London

____________

01-animals.jpg

02-animals.jpg

03-animals.jpg

04-animals.jpg

05-animals.jpg

06-animals.jpg

07-animals.jpg

08-animals.jpg

09-animals.jpg

10-animals.jpg

Images © 2019 Steve McCurry and Taschen

One thought on “Steve McCurry – Animals

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: