interview with artist
30 Photographs That Explore The Relationship Between Animals And Humans By Steve McCurry (Interview With Artist)
Steve McCurry skillfully explores the complex relationship with humans and the environment and tells a thousand stories from all over the world.
30 Photographs That Explore The Relationship Between Animals And Humans By Steve McCurry (Interview With Artist)
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From the moment humans first tamed animals about 10,000 years ago, animals have played a big role in people's lives. Even though at first animals were used for meat, milk, and hides, as time passed, humans realized that they are not just food but living and breathing creatures. They began to see them as their friends who would accompany them while hunting, traveling or guarding their homes. However, there was always something special but complex in the relationship between humans and animals and one photographer dedicated his travels to show that.

Scroll down for Bored Panda's in-depth interview with Steve McCurry.

Best known for his portrait of the "Afghan Girl" with the piercing green eyes published in 1985, Steve McCurry has been one of the biggest and most respected names in contemporary photography for more than forty years. The American photographer has built his career around his daring coverage of armed conflict, however, his other passion - animals - was less known to the public. With that in mind, a new book simply called "Steve McCurry. Animals" published by Taschen was born. The book skillfully explores the complex relationship with humans and the environment and tells a thousand stories from all over the world.

In an interview with Bored Panda, McCurry had this to say about his photo book: "The idea of photographing animals and people may have been planted in my mind since I was first starting out as a young photographer. My sister gave me my first photo book, Son of Bitch, a collection of pictures of dogs and their humans by the great photographer and friend Elliott Erwitt. It was the first time I saw a book on animals with humor, pathos, and wonderful storytelling. Animals are one of my favorite subjects to shoot; they are completely unpredictable. Animals are in constant motion, have a mind of their own and rarely pay any attention to directions from a photographer."

The photographer revealed that the photo from Kuwait was, in his opinion, his best work from the entire book. "Working in Kuwait in the aftermath of the first Gulf War was a surreal and unforgettable experience. There were 600 oil fields burning, panicked and starved animals were wandering about, and the landscape was dotted with dead Iraqi soldiers. It was heartbreaking to see these animals, which we were supposed to be guardians of. Those animals that escaped slaughter were abandoned and left to wander the streets looking for food and shelter."

A second favorite, according to McCurry, was a photo he took in Thailand. "I photographed this novice monk studying Buddhist writings in the late afternoon at a monastery in Aranyaprathet, Thailand, near the border with Cambodia. I watched the changing light as the monks went about both the mundane and sacred duties of their day. With the simple use of wood and fabric, of shades of saffron from mustard gold to deep orange, their environment was serene. The patient cat completed the scene of contemplation and peace."

"It is my hope that people will see animals as intelligent beings that deserve our love and respect. In most cases, our pets are totally dependent on us for their survival and safety. It’s our duty to protect them like our own children. Since we often create a special bond with certain animals, I would hope people should treat them with the care they deserve."

In this book, Steve McCurry presents his favorite shots of animals in a kaleidoscopic collection which he gathered from Asia to South America, the United States to Europe. He invites us to look through his lens and discover an appreciation for each living creature's beauty and silent yet magnificent dignity. From a Muslim woman feeding thousands of doves, a teenage boy eating an ice lolly while a white albino rat sits on his shoulders, a man smoking a cigarette and reading a newspaper while his dog accompanies him, to elephants passing a lounge poolside while tourists enjoy their holidays, McCurry's photos are captivating and definitely stands out of the crowd by perfectly tributing the creatures who share our planet.

Comments (39)
Half of these shouldn't be here. There is no 'intricate' relationship between an elephant handler with a sharp training implement and an elephant in chains.
Elaine Dodge
One of the most awful posts Bored Panda has put up. A lot of these 'cute' pics are of animals being abused - notably the elephants, and a lot of the others are animals on their way to be slaughtered. There's nothing cute, nice, or lovely about them.
This is a photo depiction of the relationship between man and other animals, nothing in the title said it would be sweet or awwww inspiring. We all know that man is not always kind, that the relations between humans and the rest of the natural world is mostly one-sided. It is hard to see and it is sad, but the photos are truth and they are beautifully done. Good job Steve.
Over half of these pictures are elephants being enslaved and abused! I thought the children and goats were cute at first, but after a while, I just skipped almost all of the pictures because I couldn't bare to see such beautiful and intelligent animals be treated like this! This is by far the worst post I've seen, I'm sorry, but no matter how cute these elephants are to people, it's not right.
Horrible pictures of abuse. There is nothing more upsetting than pictures of animals being held captive and abused.
I love elephant!!
I started out thinking how sweet but quickly felt very sad, its never ok to abuse any animal, idc about culture or geography, its still not ok.
Well I didn't see one enslaved dying or beaten animal with all the comments on here are ignorant. I saw a cultural beaded necklace on an elephant in sanctuary.. not one pick did I see gouging elephants , the sheep do not get eaten it's wool they make the money off of wool... The dogs are clearly lazily lying around and are loved or they wouldn't just pass out like that they would be away from danger sleeping in a perch to awake and attack I saw none of those things ... People are ignorant to other cultures and it shows in the comment section. Learn how goats are given as pets to children in other countries, or the godliness of the sacred cow... The comments are disturbing
Sam Leigh
Photos are amazing!
Kim Bush
With all the obvious elephants posts it's almost as if Bored Panda was deliberately trying to provoke its readers. They definitely upset enough of us!
What is almost as interesting as the pictures them selves is how people react to them. Half of you go "OMG the post is called "relationship" so that MUST mean that it will be fluff! Wait, ABUSE!ABUSE!* inhuman screeching*" And the other half are like"umm... Relationship just means how they relate, abusive or not" Let me give u some examples: me+chair relationship= I sit on it. Me+food relationship= I eat it. Me +my dog=he sits on me.
Jovy Jergens
Although the pet pictures were endearing, most of these poor beasties are destined for the stewpot.
Some of these were very endearing but many were of animals being enslaved or on their way to slaughter.
Sorana Stillkvist
One of the most disturbing posts I´ve seen here... have we pushed back in animal well fare? How is this cute or lovely or beautiful?! Abused animals with a cool filter on... Bored Panda should thing again about the signals they send out when posting abused, enslaved animals as "mans best friend"...
This is an awful post with a misleading title! More than half of the photos are about animals in captivity and chain, and not about a "relationship" between human and an animal. No relationship can be found where there is torture and cruelity.
malaki sarp
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