Monday, January 17, 2011

Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer

Vivian Maier

It is almost unbelievable that nowadays is still possible to read about hidden "treasures" coming to light and yet this seems to be the story of Vivian Maier "street photographer and nanny", as American media defined her, who is one of the best American photographers to have ever been discovered.Information on her is scarce. Her works have been retrieved, almost by chance, by a young American, John Maloof, who bought them at an auction in Chicago in 2009. With the first few works it was impossible to establish a connection with the artist until her name - Maier- was found on one of her boxes to then discover that, unfortunately, she had accidentally died at the age of 83, not long before Maloof tried to contact her.

The serendipity finding comprises about 100.000 negatives, most of them still to develop (about 30.000 of the total were still on photo films) that Maier collected from 1950 to 1990 with her Central Camera. On top of these, there is a large collection of 12.000 negatives and 70 homemade movies. As soon as Maloof started developing the films, he soon realized that what he had found was an impressive production of unique material.

Born in New York in 1926, Vivian Maier then moved to Chicago where she worked as a baby-sitter for almost 40 years. All her free time was totally devoted to photography. Children, of course, feature strongly in her works but also New York and Chicago's streets, the architecture and its reflection and shadows, the two cities at large and their daily Tran Tran, the expression of a moment - that of America and its people.

It's impossible not to be captivated by the beauty of her works, a photography collection never seen before in its entirety while now a new exhibition inaugurated recently in the States, at the Chicago Cultural Center and opened until next April, entitled Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer, will unveil to the public 80 shots of this incredible artist. Among the pictures a few self-portraits have been found: surreal and almost frozen in time, they portray a young photographer with a great fire burning inside, as to confirm that a true passion can indeed produce magnificent works of art.


Simply awe inspiring....I would love to see the entire collection!

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