Camels in the desert on fire

Steve McCurry


Exhibition available for rental

Exhibition Overview

The roots of the Animals project may be traced back to 1992, when photographer Steve McCurry was on a mission to document the devastating impact of war on the environment and fauna in the Gulf area. McCurry returned from the Gulf with some of his most famous icons, such as camels filing past burning oil rigs and migratory birds drenched in petrol. This reportage was to earn him the prestigious Word Press Photo award that same year.

In his projects, Steve McCurry has always focused on stories about the most vulnerable categories: he has explored the condition of civilians in war areas, with a special emphasis on children; he has documented endangered ethnic groups and the consequences of natural catastrophes. Finally, starting with that 1992 report, he has added to his countless gazes an empathic one on animals.

For Animals a combined effort has been made to delve into the photographer’s vast archive in order to select a collection of images illustrating the different conditions of animals. While visitors are free to explore the exhibition itinerary as they please, an invisible map has been developed on three emotional levels, by alternating more fraught images with lighter, more positive ones.

What we have, then, are harsh images, in which nature unleashes its power, forever altering the appearance of an area; images of animals that actually tell stories of human survival; but also more charming, poetic or ironic narratives, such as the portraits of animals proudly posing alongside their owners (a fashionista dog from Hollywood with its fur dyed pink, a snake worn like a necklace in an American supermarket), as well as a goat, a monkey, an iguana, and a white mouse – the testimonial of the exhibition. McCurry turns his camera on this veritable Noah’s Ark to illustrate the remarkable identity of emotional bonds across all latitudes.

Steve McCurry, an explorer of mankind, offers a journey to discover continuity in the animal world, by focusing on relations and their consequences. His images are indelible and timeless. As happens to those tirelessly travelling to tell stories, he seems to feel nostalgia for a world in constant, dangerous transformation that he alone can illustrate.

Animals invites us to reflect on the fact that we are not alone in this world and that the mystery of life is common to all living creatures. Most importantly, this exhibition leaves visitors with the impression that while human beings and animals share the same emotions and Earth, only the former have the power to disfigure the planet.

Exhibition Photos

Selected Works

Technical Details

The exhibition includes 60 color images in 70x100cm, mounted on DBOND 3mm.

The exhibition is supplied by a video and a supplementary worksheet for 7 prints of the exhibition and with the book Animals, published by Taschen and available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

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