I have to say I had not heard of Raghu Rai before reading a recent interview with him. What caught my eye were the photographs that appeared on my Facebook feed. Once I started reading the interview I realised he is quite a tour de force in the world of photography, specifically street photography. His anonymity to me, and possibly the wider world of photography, may hinge on the fact he has never travelled outside of India to take photographs (at least professionally). Given that photography is very westernised in it’s outlook, it is fair to say he would not and has not been given the profile that his western contemporaries would have been (Henri Cartier-Bresson being among them). Indeed he is the only Indian photographer to have joined the Magnum Photo Agency under the nomination of Cartier-Bresson. High praise indeed, although it does beg the question in a country of one billion inhabitance, where are the others?
His photographs appeal to me greatly. Both technically and in character they open up a world that I have little knowledge of and leave me craving more. I find his photographs aspirational; they excite me and make me want to know more about him, his world and the world he inhabits. The ongoing love of his mother country is purveyed through his over four decades of photographic portfolio and he shows no signs of stopping yet.
Read the interview that lead me to him below.