Fashion and Travel Photographer Robert Curran Gets in the Gallery Game

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District on Thursday, December 4th. Curran may have been born in New York, but he lived in Peru, the Bahamas and Massachusetts in his early life, undoubtedly giving him a thirst for culture and travel. Curran’s images, which include images snapped while traveling with John F. Kennedy Jr. in Vietnam, are in the collections of big names including the King of Jordan, and Ivanka Trump. Curran doesn’t just stand by snapping shots, however, he gets involved to help his third world subjects. He is an Ambassador for Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Foundation and sits on the Board of Trustees of Sting’s Rainforest Foundation.

Your exhibition spans 20 years. How do you select photos?

We went through the archive and selected major themes. The work I’m most proud of was coalesced by visits to regions that had been through major societal upheavals including war, communism and colonialism.

You’ve hit 100 countries on 5 continents; do you prefer traveling to being home?
The world is my home. It’s just becoming a smaller global village now, connected by the internet and new air routes to remote places. I have homes in Miami Beach, Peru and Bali and they each hold special places in my soul.

Did your sold out shows inspire you to open the Robert Curran Gallery? Yes, absolutely. As travel to remote destinations has become more widespread, my documentary and travel photos have become increasingly recognizable and appealing. The cultural differences that used to divide us are quickly disappearing.

Petra Nemcova is hosting the opening for you. How did that come about?

Petra has been a big inspiration and a close friend for almost a decade. We have worked closely together to open over fifty schools in Peru and Indonesia. Happy Hearts Fund has now opened over 92 schools worldwide.
One of your most famous shots is of JFK Jr. in Vietnam, tell us about that shot. John was doing a monthly interview for his magazine, George, and so we went to Vietnam to interview General Giap who was the general under Ho Chi Min (Uncle Ho) who won the war against the U.S. and France. John had a tremendous curiosity to interview former adversaries of his father, which I think helped offer him closure while also honoring JFK’s legacy.

You do a lot of different types of photography: Fashion, travel. Which one is your favorite?
My favorite is actually shoots that combine both – the juxtaposition between fashion and remote or interesting locations almost always creates more interesting images.