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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
ARCHIVE / AFGHAN GIRL TO PIRELLI CALENDAR
CATCHING UP WITH
STEVE MCCURRY—Any red-blooded photographer if given the assignment would
embrace photographing the annual Pirelli Calendar. The money is good, the models are gorgeous
and the travel perks are amazing.
Since 1964, the Euro tire maker has been producing a
calendar that has become an expensive collectors item. A link at the end of this blog shows how
much back issues of the calendars are going for on ebay.
Each year, some of the world’s best fashion photographers
have been given the plum assignment.
But, in 2013 Pirelli went in another direction. Instead of a fashionista
photographing very bare female skin, Pirelli hired a legendary photojournalist
Steve McCurry. Cutting to the bottom
line, McCurry photographed all the women clothed.
No nudes may not be good news for Pirelli calendar aficionados.
Reason is the Pirelli’s calendar in recent years has been defining the state of
the art in undraped female figures since Sean Connery was cast as James
Undaunted, McCurry not only broke a long-standing skinny dip
tradition, he even added a twist. He
photographed Adriana Lima, a former Pirelli and Victoria’s Secret model, while
she was six months pregnant. “Being selected to shoot the 2013 Pirelli Calendar
was a great honor, and the beauty of Rio de Janeiro made it the perfect
backdrop,” he said in his website: stevemcurry.com. Selected photos from his various assignments
can be seen on his website, including current images of the 2013 Pirelli
Calendar and the aforementioned Ms. Lima.
McCurry tackling the Pirelli photo shoot is interesting, but
not as fascinating as the photojournalism he’s produced in his career. A high point in the 62-year-old lensman’s has
been winning honors like:
--Leica Hall of Fame;
--Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting
--Winner of Magazine Photographer of the Year by the
National Press Photographers Assn,
--and winner of four first place awards in the World Press
Image from 2013 Pirelli Calendar by Steve McCurry
Much of McCurry’s work has come from battle zones around the
world: Afghan v. Russia; Iran v. Iraq; Afghan and Cambodian Civil Wars and the
But perhaps, the aha
moment everyone will recall is McCurry’s image of the “Afghan Girl,” which
appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine’s June 1985 cover.
Although her name was not known, her picture, titled
"Afghan Girl", appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image by
American photojournalist Steve McCurry of her face, with a red scarf draped
loosely over her head and with her piercing sea-green eyes staring directly
into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the
refugee situation worldwide. The image itself was named "the most
recognized photograph" in the history of the magazine.
Model Hanaa Ben Abdessem with McCurry
Her identity was not known for 17 years, until another team
of National Geographic researchers found her in Afghanistan. A documentary and feature on the search for
the Afghan Girl were made in 2002 by the magazine.
Steve McCurry photographed the Afghan orphan (parents were
killed in a Russian attack) when she was 12-years old in 1984. Her name is Sharbat Gula. McCurry’s image has
been likened to Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisaand is sometimes
popularly referred to as "the Afghan Mona Lisa.”
Here are some links: www.stevemccurry.com
Here’s a preview of 2013: http://www.fashionologie.com/Pirelli-Calendar-2013-All-Pictures-Behind-Scenes-25999603?page=0,0,0#21
Here’s 2012’s Pirelli Calendar with
breathtaking shots of Lara Stone: http://www.fashionologie.com/2012-Pirelli-Calendar-Mario-Sorrenti-Pictures-20749310?page=0,0,11#11