A conversation with photographer Steve McCurry, whose exhibition “Steve McCurry: India” is on view at the Rubin Museum of Art through April 4, 2016. The Rubin partnered with the International Center of Photography to present this first museum exhibition to focus solely on McCurry’s work in India. The images provide a vivid look into life in the subcontinent over the past three decades.

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I WENT TO INDIA WHEN I WA 27 I HAD WORKED ON A LOCA NEWSPAPER OUTSIDE OF PHILADELPHIA FOR A COUPLE YEAR AND I WAS GETTING A BIT BORED.

I WANTED TO TRAVEL I WANTED TO PHOTOGRAPH I VARIOUS CULTURES I JUST BOUGHT A ONE-WAY TICKET WENT TO INDIA, AND I WAS GOING TO JUST STAY THERE AS LONG AS IT TOOK INDIA HAS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE DEPTH OF CULTURE THERE'S SO MANY CONTRADICTIONS THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE THE GEOGRAPHY, THE RELIGIONS IT'S JUST RICH YOU CAN SPEND SEVERAL LIFETIME AND NEVER REALLY GET TO TH BOTTOM OF IT INDIA IS ONE OF THE MOST SPIRITUAL PLACES IN THE WORLD.

THESE FESTIVALS AND THES EVENTS, THESE RELIGIOUS EVENTS ARE CENTRAL TO LIFE OF THE PEOPLE YOU JUST SEE THEM ON THE STREET.

THIS IS REALLY THE LIFEBLOOD O THE COUNTRY.

I WAS IN THE CITY OF JODHPUR DURING HOLI.

THERE WAS THIS GROUP O VILLAGERS WHO WERE PERFORMING, THROWING COLOR THEY HAD THIS ONE MAN WHO THEY PAINTED GREEN.

I HAPPENED TO BE ON A WALL I WAS TRYING TO STAY OUT OF TH FRAY 'CAUSE IT WAS JUST SO MAN PEOPLE AND SO MUCH COLOR THEY PICKED THIS FELLOW UP T TAKE HIM SOMEWHERE, AND I TOOK SOME PICTURES OF HIM AS THEY WERE MOVING THROUGH THE CROWD.

I THINK IT'S ONE OF MY MOR SUCCESSFUL COLOR PICTURES.

I WANTED TO DO A LONG-TERM PROJECT ON THE TRAIN JOURNEY I INDIA.

EVENTUALLY, I GOT AN ASSIGNMEN TO GO AND DO THIS STORY, AND L AND BEHOLD, THE WRITER WAS PAUL THEROUX SO HERE I AM WITH THIS GREAT AUTHOR, AND WE'RE GOING OFF ON THIS ADVENTURE TO TRAVEL B TRAIN THROUGH INDIA.

AND THE FIRST THING THAT I THOUGHT ABOUT WAS, 'I WONDER I BY ANY CHANCE THE TRAIN GOES ANYWHERE NEAR THE TAJ MAHAL.

IT TURNED OUT THAT NOT ONLY DOES THE TRAIN GO BY THE TAJ MAHAL, THERE WAS AN ENTIRE RAILROAD YARD NEXT TO THE TAJ SO I SPENT A WEEK IN AGR LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT ANGLE, THE RIGHT TIME, CHECKING TRAIN SCHEDULES AND MADE THIS PICTUR OF THESE WORKERS ON THE STEA LOCOMOTIVE WITH THE TAJ IN THE BACKGROUND I DON'T THINK IT HAD EVER BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED THAT WAY BEFORE I DID THE STORY ON THE MONSOON ONE OF THE DRAMATIC THINGS O THE MONSOON SEASON IS THAT THERE'S AN INCREDIBLE HEAT BUILDUP.

THE WIND BLOWS THE DUST STORMS COME UP.

AND SO THE MONSOON IS A RELIEF I WAS IN THE CITY OF PORBANDAR PHOTOGRAPHING THE MONSOON DURING ONE OF THE FLOODS, AND I WAS U TO MY CHEST IN WATER AND AS I WAS KIND OF WADIN THROUGH THE STREETS, I SAW THI MAN WALKING DOWN WITH A SEWING MACHINE ON HIS SHOULDER.

AND IT SEEMED SO ODD AND S SURREAL.

EVERYBODY FROM AROUND TH NEIGHBORHOOD STARTED ALERTIN THIS MAN THAT THERE'S THIS PHOTOGRAPHER GOING TO TAKE YOU PICTURE SO, YOU KNOW, SMILE FO THE CAMERA HE HAD THIS RUSTED SEWIN MACHINE WHICH WAS FROM HIS SHOP.

AND IT'S DESTROYED, BUT YET HE'S UP -- ALMOST UP TO HIS NECK IN WATER WITH A SMILE THE BEST PART OF THE STORY WAS THAT THE GERMAN MANUFACTURER O THE SEWING MACHINE SAW THI PICTURE AND TRACKED HIM DOWN AND SENT HIM A NEW SEWING MACHINE.

I LOVE PORTRAITURE I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE.

I LOVE THE HUMAN FACE.

I LOVE THE STORIES THAT AR ETCHED INTO PEOPLE'S FACES THERE ARE CERTAIN PEOPLE I SEE AS I'M WALKING AROUND ON THE STREET THAT INSPIRE ME AND I WANT TO TELL THAT STORY.

I WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH THA PARTICULAR PERSON.

WHEN YOU MAKE THE PORTRAIT, YO COME WITH THAT ENTHUSIASM, WIT THAT PASSION AND YOU CAN GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP, INTO KIND OF A ZONE WHERE YOU CREATE THIS INCREDIBLE CHEMISTRY AND THI GREAT CONNECTION IT DOESN'T MATTER SO MUCH HO LONG YOU SPEND WITH THIS PERSON.

IT COULD BE A FEW MOMENTS.

BUT SOMEHOW YOU'VE ESTABLISHED THIS CONNECTION, AND SOMETIMES GREAT THINGS CAN HAPPEN AND YO CAN REALLY MAKE A PICTURE WHIC REALLY REVEALS SOMETHING ABOUT THAT PERSON'S PERSONALITY.

YOU KNOW, KIND OF DIG DEEP INT THEIR SOUL WHAT I THINK I WANT PEOPLE T TAKE AWAY FROM THIS SHOW OR MY PICTURES IN GENERAL IS THERE'S THIS COMMONALITY OF HUMANITY THAT WE SHARE.

AND ALTHOUGH WE MAY LOOK DIFFERENTLY OR HAVE DIFFEREN RELIGIONS OR SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, WE'RE ALL HUMAN AND WE'RE ALL IN THE SAME KIND O FAMILY SO THIS SORT OF SHARED EXPERIENCE OF BEING ALIVE AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME I THINK THIS IS A LOOK AT TH WORLD WHILE I WAS ALIVE, AND THIS IS WHAT I SAW I THINK I SPENT MY LIFE IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY.