Dear Buzztrippers, I am back from a hectic weekend spent at FAI Spring Days, and from a visit to the exhibition dedicated to Steve McCurry in Pordenone – Galleria Bertoia. Have you ever heard about FAI (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano)? FAI is a non-profit organization, born in 1975 on the model of the British National Trust, that aims at protecting, enhancing and promoting the Italian artistic and natural heritage. To achieve its goals, FAI organizes several initiatives throughout the year: restauration works, sites’ public openings, educational campaigns and so on. I recently got in contact with FAI Giovani group of Pordenone, composed of people from 18 to 40 years old that, during FAI Spring Days 2016, planned some amazing guided visits to Galleria Bertoia, located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Pordenone. Galleria Bertoia is now hosting an exhibition dedicated to Steve McCurry, one of the greatest photographers of all times.
The members of FAI Giovani group of Pordenone brilliantly guided visitors through the exhibition, offering useful and clear explanations, anecdotes, quotes… They managed to arouse interest and curiosity in all the people that took part to the visit, choosing the most meaningful pictures and describing them in details.
What about Steve McCurry’s life and works? Keep on reading and… be Buzztripped!
Steve McCurry in Pordenone: No Borders
The exhibition that hosts Steve McCurry in Pordenone is called “Senza Confini” (“No Borders”): a perfect title for an ordinary/extraordinary character that devoted his life to travel and photography. He studied at Pennsylvania University and then worked for a local newspaper in Philadelphia. McCurry’s professional path seemed set, programmed, until he lived an experience that completely shook up his life: as a matter of fact, he left for India in 1979, falling in love with travelling and photographing whatever drew his attention.
From that journey onwards, Steve McCurry has never stopped travelling, getting in contact with different cultures, broadening his horizons: he has been working both as a freelance photographer and for important magazines such as National Geographic. Some of the countries he has visited literally became a part of his soul: Afghanistan (in the early 80s, he managed to cross the border with Pakistan and witness the Afghan situation, when Russia prevented any foreigner from visiting the country while Russian armies were invading it), India, Myanmar, Tibet.
A special technique
What really surprised me is the approach McCurry usually takes to obtain his mesmerizing snapshots: he first makes up an image in his mind, and then waits until it turns into reality. Of course, some of his pictures derive from a sudden creative flair, from an immediate inspiration… but most of his masterpieces are the result of images he first had in his mind, and that eventually took shape after long photo-sessions and eternal waiting hours. Below you find a couple of examples derived from McCurry’s “visions” that turned into real scenes.
Portraits, destinations, movements
The exhibition of Steve McCurry in Pordenone – Galleria Bertoia sums up some of his favourite themes:
–Portraits. He spends hours with the people he wants to photograph, getting to know them and their personality, slowly gaining their trust, making them narrate incredible personal anecdotes. From the astounding and world-famous Sharbat Gula, the Afghan refugee with magnetic eyes, met in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984, to the old Indian man transporting his sewing-machine throughout the monsoon flood, to the Yemeni boy almost crying in front of the camera… all of McCurry’s portraits will definitely give you food for thought.
–Places. Several exotic destinations can be found in “Senza Confini”. A temple in Cambodia, a broken mirror in Japan after the earthquake in 2011, a puddle with the reflection of Taj Mahal, a view of Jodhpur, the blue city… you will experience a real journey through distant and fascinating destinations, where human hardships meet historical and natural beauty. A whole section of the exhibition is dedicated to Cuba, a country McCurry recently visited: pictures shot in Cuba are officially part of an exhibition for the first time, and describe the country’s poverty and incredible dignity.
–Movements. The photographer has always been fascinated by movements, actions, dynamic situations. Some of his snapshots, such as those dedicated to railways in India, or to martial arts in Asia, perfectly interpret the theme, leaving the observer amazed and sometimes… speechless.
Practical info: the exhibition will take place until June, 12th. Opening hours: from Wednesday to Sunday, from 03.00 pm until 07.00 pm. And if you wish to have something to eat or drink after the visit, click here: you will find some tasty suggestions!
This entry was posted in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
A picture can express a universal humanism, or simply reveal a delicate and poignant truth by exposing a slice of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed.