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Raghu Rai

About The Artist

Raghu Rai was born in 1942 in Jhang (British India - current Pakistan) and graduated as a civil engineer. He started photography at the age of 23 in 1965. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966 to 1976), and was then Picture Editor with Sunday - a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta (1977 to 1980). In 1971, Henri Cartier Bresson nominated him to Magnum Photos of which he is still a partner today. In 1982, he took over as Picture Editor-Visualiser-Photographer of India Today, India’s leading news magazine, a position he held till 1991. For the last two decades, Rai has exclusively devoted his work to India. He has produced nearly 60 picture books on different aspects and themes on India: Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, TajMahal, Tibet in Exile, Mother Teresa. Under special assignment from Greenpeace International, his coverage of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984) was compiled into a book with three sets of exhibitions that travelled throughout the world. In 2002, Rai participated in a special exhibition and picture book on India and Mexico with Sebastião Salgado and Graciela Iturbide. In 1972, he was conferred the Padmashree, one of the highest civilian orders in India. In 2009, he was conferred Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. In 2018, Lucie Foundation, New York honoured him as Master of Photojournalism. In 2019, The Academy of Fine Arts Photography Award - William Klein bestowed Rai with the consecration award. This prize is intended to reward a photographer for their entire career, making Rai the first recipient of this award for special contribution to the world of photography. His photo essays have appeared in Time, Life, Nat Geo, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Die Welt, The New York Times, The Sunday Times London, Newsweek, Vogue, GQ, Marie Claire, The Independent, and The New Yorker.  He has been an adjudicator for the World Press Photo Contest and UNESCO’s International Photo Contest many times. Many exhibitions have been dedicated to him around the world including retrospectives at Arles Photography Festival in 2007 and at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi in 2008. He held two solo shows with Ojas Art :Delhi That Was.... (2012)and Picturing Time (2015). In 2012, Raghu Rai created the Raghu Rai Center for Photography to share his 50 years of knowledge and experience with the young generations. Raghu Rai lives in New Delhi with his family.

Raghu Rai Artworks

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