The Greatest Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of
It was an ordinary day a few weeks ago when we discovered Finding Vivian Maier (2013) on Netflix. We were instantly hooked on this sleek documentary. It tells the story of an unassuming nanny who worked in Chicago's North Shore over four decades, all while leading a secret life as a street photographer. What makes her work so fascinating is the delightful composition of each piece, juxtaposed against the edgy urban landscape. Her portraits are raw, honest and unobtrusive. The range and sheer volume of her work is mind-boggling. She took thousands upon thousands of photographs. Many of them were never developed. Ms. Maier also didn't shy away from cataloging poverty and despair, alongside the joyful laughs of children or well-coiffed members of the upper crust. Through the documentary, you see the world through the vantage point of this keen artist's eye. And while lawsuits rage on over who rightfully owns the copyright to her work, hopefully, they will eventually be settled. The world deserves to see Americana through Vivian Maier's looking glass. If the documentary leaves you craving more, head over to the NY Times Lens Blog (2016) for a two-part series that delves deeper into this photog's life story.
Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection