Vivian Maier was unknowingly a street photographer. Unknowingly and above all without ever chase after success for her work. Maier was the author of more than 150,000 shots of great value, many of which, however, were still negatives after her death.
“Street photography” is defined as a kind of photographic activity which prefers urban centers as its mainly subjects in order to grasp images of real life, thus it rejects any pose and tips. The biggest skill of a street photographer is being able to capture emotions, expressions and activities in the short time in which they happen. The photographer ‘s sensitivity can be so subtle to induce the viewer to reflect about social and psychological dynamics, such for example this meaningful shot that, for its real nature and not of posing, “is worth a thousand words”.
Today we can admire Vivian Maier’s works thanks to the discovery of a box purchased at an auction by John Maloof in 2007: he bought for $ 380 more than 30,000 Maier’s negatives without knowing it. Mr. Maloof developed the negatives which have been later exposed in many retrospective exhibitions dedicated to the Artist in London, Chicago, New York and Amsterdam. After the discovery of the precious contents of the box, Maloof began a long research about Vivian Maier and it is thanks to his researches if many of her photos have been found, but, as regards her biography, an aura of mystery still surrounds this pioneer of street photography.
Nowadays, in fact, the personality of Vivian Maier is mainly unexplored, and this is always a great luck when we approach to a work of art. We know, however, that she lived working as an educator and nanny and perhaps for this reason so much of her attention was given to children, highly frequent subjects in her shots:
The documentary Finding Vivian Maier ( you can see the trailer at this link) shows an undefined and even disguised identity of the photographer: by those who knew her Maier is described as having different names, different accents, and lots of details vary from one witness to another. So, with great pleasure, we just have to rely on the only important thing she has left of herself: her art.
Click here to read more about Vivian Maier.