The Lounge: Vivian Maier

by Heather on October 25, 2009

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the 40,000 negatives shot by unknown Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier which were bought at a contents-sale by photographer John Maloof. John is meticulously developing and scanning his way through the giant collection and posting daily selects on a blog he’s launched as a vehicle to share the fantastic, and previously unseen work:

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

© Vivian Maier

The story is fascinating and it is incredible to experience the drama unfold in real time as John tries to contextualize Vivian’s work and come to terms with how strong these images are. John shares some of this on the blog but it is even more compelling to follow the thread from his original post on the Hard Core Street Photography Flickr group here.

Vivian’s work is reminiscent of the great Helen Levitt, who’s fantastic film (made with James Agee and Janice Loeb; Helen was clearly an early adopter of the photographer/filmmaker crossover phenomenon) In the Street is now finally available for at least partial view on YouTube.

Helen Levitt, In the Street, Part I

Helen Levitt, In the Street, Part 2

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie Rosenthal October 26, 2009 at 12:10 am

Yeah! Incredible story. Reminds me of Gary Stochl (another Chicago street photographer). He shot for 40 years and never bothered to show his pictures to anyone. Here’s a link to his story in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/19/arts/design/19stoc.html

Mike Henry Photo October 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I had not seen this…Great stuff. Just might repost. Thanks!

Biloko December 17, 2010 at 7:54 am

Fascinating…
You can support the project of a one hour documentary film by funding it at kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/800508197/finding-vivian-maier-a-feature-length-documentary

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