Fresh from the success of its recent exhibition, The Empty Quarter
now puts the spotlight on world-acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry, one of the most iconic personalities in contemporary photography. Over the next one month, McCurry's remarkable photo portraits and street photography captured from around the world will form the cynosure of all eyes at the gallery.
Steve McCurry's celebrated portrait of a young Afghan woman Sharbat Gula taken in 1984 during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The photograph was voted by readers as one of Time Magazine's most popular cover photos © Steve McCurry
The new exhibition at the Empty Quarter celebrates three decades of Steve McCurry's experiences and travels across the world, providing rarely seen glimpses of human existence in some of the most challenging environments. The much-travelled McCurry has continued to inspire an entire generation of professional and amateur photographers across the globe through his poignant photographs about people and places.
The exhibition at The Empty Quarter marks McCurry's return to the UAE and is expected to interest his large fan following in the region. The acclaimed photographer is also visiting Dubai for the launch of his exhibition at The Empty Quarter. The 36 carefully selected photographs to be showcased at the month-long exhibition are a testament to his acclaimed talent of identifying with different cultures and countries.
While his focus remains predominantly the East (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sri Lanka), his work spans more than six continents and numerous countries. Whether he focuses on the carefree fisher-folk of Sri Lanka or traditional medical practices in Yemen or a flooded street in India, McCurry looks for the human element to bring his subjects alive.
McCurry says that his photographs combine his love for wanderlust and photography. There is nothing more important that you can do with your life than to experience different cultures and see how different people live and see the amazing variety of life in this world's human life, animal life, the natural world, the seas, the oceans, the mountains. To try and experience that is about the most interesting way you can spend your life, he points out.
Each of his photographs has a story to tell whether they speak of celebration, hope, conflict, pain, misery, mystery or drama. Though he explores the human psyche, McCurry allows his audience to draw their own conclusions from the photographs.
The photographer has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, amongst dozens of others. He has also held numerous exhibitions and written several books on his style of photography.
Speaking about the latest exhibition, HRH Princess Reem Al Faisal, owner of The Empty Quarter, says, "By hosting such impressive talents at the Empty Quarter, we aim to inspire more people to look at the photography medium as an art form. Steve McCurry is undoubtedly one of the top gurus in people photography and it is an honour to host him at the gallery."
The Empty Quarter is devoted to fine art photography, with an emphasis on works exploring the photographic dimensions of the Arab world. Within this framework, the gallery salutes the achievements of the world's finest photographers, and aims to highlight the talent of photographers from the Middle East.
In addition to the regular exhibitions, the work of the gallery includes instigating long term projects, curating and organizing exhibitions in collaboration with international institutions and museums as well as publishing cutting edge photo books. Currently, the Empty Quarter is branching out in the region with projects ongoing in Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia.