Steve McCurry’s curries are made of a mix of good looking people, being at the right place at the right time with the right fixer, saturated colours, picturesque places. Despite the controversies about his removing disturbing elements from his pictures, or the abuse of “creating the moment and make it look purely spontaneous”, one cannot just not enjoy the experience. It is a ravishment for the eyes. The Musée Maillol, in the heart of Paris, gives a large view of McCurry’s work, old and recent. The link between Musée Maillol et McCurry in particular, the sculptures of Aristide Maillol and the pictures of the American photographer in general is not obvious. As a matter of fact, the second floor, fully devoted to Maillol’s work, was totally empty of visitors, despite its own beauty and interest. So, one asks whether the Musée was trying to attract visitors, just for the sake of cash generation? In any case, the displays, in darker rooms with perfect lighting, were stunning. McCurry’s portraits echoing each other, his landscapes inviting the visitor to just step in. I was a bit distressed by the proximity of the displays, not allowing an intimate interaction with the photos, because of the large crowd present, make that’s the price of success. McCurry’s kitchen is popular and the crowds are attracted to his curries recipes. Once upon a time, Steven McCurry was a photo journalist with Magnum. He covered the conflicts around d the world, spending much of his time in Afghanistan. The first room showed his black and white photographs of the late 1970’s. A couple of pictures of 1979 made a lasting impressions and stayed with me, long after the visit: This mujahid praying with his Kalashnikov rifle and the fierce looking boy with a wooden Kalashnikov. I was wondering: what happened to him in the last 43 years?

Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, 1991 ©Steve McCurry
Nuristan, Afghanistan, 1979 ©Steve McCurry
Kyoto, Japan, 2007 ©Steve McCurry
Baluchistan, Pakistan, 1981 ©Steve McCurry
Porbandar, India, 1983 ©Steve McCurry
Nuristan, Afghanistan, 1979 ©Steve McCurry
Rajasthan, India, 2009 ©Steve McCurry
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