Vivian Maier is a puzzle that many people are still trying to assemble. We know that she was born in New York, dedicated most of her adult life to caring for children, and loved photography.
But we only know the photography part because John Maloof bought a bunch of boxes at an auction in Chicago, and her pictures were there. That is how Vivian Maier bebecame known to the public, and most people who knew her don’t believe she would like the attention her work is gathering.
Vivian Maier’s Photography
Vivian Maier’s photography is fantastic. She knows how to capture people in a way that would make her a master of street photography if her work was known to more people when she was still alive. She explored the poorer areas of New York and Chicago with a camera at hand and was always looking for curious situations and characters. This is one of my favorite characteristics of her work.
But Vivian Maier was an extremely reserved person to the point of hiding her work from curious eyes wherever she was living. That might sound weird to most people, but after watching a documentary telling her story, it seems plausible and makes every part of this story even more enjoyable.
But everybody has a question that will be left unanswered. Since Vivian Maier never tried to exhibit her work, how can we know precisely her artistic intent? We will never know this, but we can appreciate the pictures she took and wonder what was going on inside her head.
After seeing the exhibition at Willy Brandt Haus, we have to advise everybody interested in street photography to go there and see Vivian Maier’s Photography.