Durango's Open Shutter Gal-lery has scored yet another coup in landing the work of world-renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry. McCurry's exhibit, "The Unguarded Moment," will open today with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. and will continue through Oct. 1.
McCurry, a living legend in his profession, is perhaps best-known among laypeople for his photo of Sharbat Gula, which appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985. But the photo is only the most recognized example of his work, which has appeared in thousands of magazines and newspapers.
Since 1978, after his graduation from Penn State University as a film student, McCurry has photographed on all seven continents, with an emphasis on the residents of each.
"It's never been for me about trying to cover territory or have a checklist," McCurry said Thursday from his Long Island City, N.Y., studio.
"For example, India has so many different things to see you can spend years there. I like to go to places that fascinate me, but it's really the people in those places that are the most fascinating."
Most of the 40 or so photos in the exhibit can be found in McCurry's most recent book, also titled The Unguarded Moment. Each is an explosion of color capturing the people of exotic locations, many in Asia, which McCurry said is among his favorite locations: A woman dressed in traditional Japanese garb emerges from a subway station; a young boy runs from McCurry's camera through a brightly painted alley in India; and a procession of monks walks the streets of Burma, now known as Myanmar to all but the photographer. (McCurry is not a fan of the current regime.)
"It's always fun to be transported to a place that's so culturally rich and different you feel like it's another world, and that's how southern Asia is for me," McCurry said.
Unfortunately, McCurry won't be transplanting himself to Durango for the exhibit (his Durango experience is limited to our sister city in Mexico in the 1970s). He returned from Africa on Wednesday and couldn't fit a trip to the West into his schedule, but said he's happy to show his work in Margy Dudley's gallery, the reputation of which is growing stronger among the world's top photographers.
He chose the Open Shutter on the recommendation of his good friends Elliott Erwitt and Camille Seaman, each of whom recently have had successful exhibits in the Durango gallery.
"I've been aware of her gallery for some time, and they said it was a pleasure to work with her, and it seems like a wonderful venue, so I'm sorry I won't be able to check it out for this show," McCurry said.