Posts Tagged ‘Street Photography’

Over Her Dead Body

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

No way was photographer Vivian Maier gonna go out on top.

All images © Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection
All Images © Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection_Thank you from Where Excuses Go to Die

For those unfamiliar with the Vivian Maier story, it’s a simple one that never changes. Vivian was a professional nanny who, in her off time, wandered around bad neighborhoods and metropolises snapping pictures of just about everyone from derelicts to fashionable women, cops, and lots of kids. Before she died in a Chicago nursing home in 2009, Maier had amassed over 120,000 images of strangers in streets, slums, and shadows. An extremely secretive woman, she never shared her activities, travels abroad, or any of her photos. With anyone. Not in fifty years of practicing street photography.

All Images © Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection_Thank you from Where Excuses Go to Die8At the time of her passing, Maier was in possession of none of her work – not a single negative. This is to say, reel after reel of 8 and 16 mm film; personal writings and cassette tapes containing her voice recordings; personal observations on you-name-it; and seven hundred rolls of undeveloped color film. In 2007, it all had been forfeited to a storage company due to unpaid fees, for Vivian had begun this century almost destitute. She was powerless to stop the contents of the unit from being sold to a Chicago auction firm.

To those who knew her, or thought they did (namely, the grown children she’d cared for), she was a recluse, a hoarder, and a peculiar spirit. But to the many who now consider her one of the most prolific and talented street photographers in the history of the medium, she is an ambiguous monolith of isolation, genius, and resolve.  (more…)

UPDATE: The Vivian Maier Phenomenon Continues…

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Still humbled by John Maloof’s incredible discovery.

So much happening, so little to go on. The absence of color allows the viewer’s imagination to go wild.

Inspired by: Vivian Maier and vivianmaier.com

Swearing off all usage of the phrase “shock and awe” almost as soon as I heard it helped me deny its imprint, so now it can land where it wants, such as with street photographer Vivian Maier’s recently discovered body of work. I am in shock that Maier could hide the outcome of a life’s passion from the world so effectively, and I’m in awe of the work itself. I’m also in shock that someone unknowingly found thousands of Maier’s photos and undeveloped rolls of film, and I’m in awe of that person’s willingness to rise to the occasion and share them.

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