Vivian Maier

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Okay this text may seem quite long but we insure you this story about Vivian Maier is worth reading.

In 2007, John Maloof, a 27-year-old real estate agent at the time,was at a at an antique auction hoping to find pictures of Portage Park, the section of Chicago about which he was writing a book. That day he bought a box with 30 000 negatives taken in Chicago from 1963-1965. He couln’t use the pictures for his book but he was so intrigued and impressed by them. Later on he started to develop the negatives and went searching for the autor of these fantastique streetpictures.

That is how he discovered the pictures were taken by Vivian Maier. He was determined to find out more information about this women so he went to visit two of the people Vivian was a nanny for in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. They told hem this: Vivian came here from France in the early 1930’s and worked in a sweat shop in New York when she was about 11 or 12. She was not Jewish but a Catholic, or as they said, an anti-Catholic. She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.

In 2009 John Maloof has already developed some pictures of Vivian but the vast majority of Maier’s work still remains unseen. Maier’s work includes portraits of children, couples and anonymous individuals. She’s also photographed people like Salvador Dalí, Richard Nixon, Nelson Algren and Christian Dior, in addition to quite a few self-portraits. Her pictures are fascinating. She captures people revealing themselves,  and securing flawless composition, cropping and lighting.

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