Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vivian Maier

Ever heard of Vivian Maier? She is a recently discovered master of street photography who died, unknown, in 2009. After a local collector came upon a trove of her negatives and realized what he had unearthed, things really began to take off for the legend of Vivian Maier. She was such an intensely private figure that there are still many huge gaps in her story, yet the work remains. A documentary is being produced about this remarkable artist.
One of many things that fascinates me about Vivian Maier is that such a private person was so tuned into the emotional lives of her subjects. You can see, in her photography, an intensely sensitive temperament that existed beneath all that armor.

Sadly, she was destitute by the end of her life, but some of the children she had once taken care of as a nanny made sure she had a comfortable place to live and that her bills were paid. She was injured in a fall in 2008 and died in 2009. But the work remains--the children she helped raise but also these amazing photographs that give us a glimpse into urban American life in the 1950's and 60's.

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