Saturday, January 7, 2012

Queen Mono

"Unearthed by John Maloof in 2007 at a local auction house in Chicago, Maier is only now beginning to be recognized as an iconic street photographer from the 40’s, through the 70’s. A body of work that spans not only the US, but the globe, Maier took more than 2,000 rolls of film, printed over 3,000 photographs and produced more than 150,000 negatives representing the street life and architecture of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the American Southwest, as well as destinations as far off as Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, and Italy.

Invested in her bird’s eye view of the people who made industrious cities thrive and pulse, Maier captures gentle and poignant moments between parents and children, the disenfranchised and forgotten, in a country on the verge of social and political upheaval. Maier recorded historic landmarks and their demolition as developments were built to replace them over decades."
Images by Vivian Maier (RIP). Copyright Maloof Collection, USA. Text from Maloof Official Maier site.
US West coast exhibition at Merry Karnowsky Gallery US East Coast exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery.
"Maier’s ability to grab the right frame at exactly the right moment, with elements of lighting, movement and essence all aligning, is revealed in the remarkable fact that she seldom shot more than one picture of the same moment in time. An intensely private person who kept most of her work hidden, Maier also created a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings that have yet to be released to the public.

Having worked as a nanny most of her adult life, Maier was described by those she cared for as “a free spirit, but also a proud soul,” - “a quasi Mary Poppins figure.” She was, in the accounts of the families for whom she worked, very private, spending her days off walking the street taking photographs most often with a Rolleiflex camera. At the end of her life Maier became impoverished, but several children she had cared for pooled their money together and paid for an apartment and other necessities in her later years. Unbeknownst to them, a storage locker that contained a slew of negatives Maier had secretly hidden away was auctioned off due to delinquent payments.

Maier died in 2009 at the age of 83, before the extent of her legacy had been fully understood or revealed.

The Maloof collection is comprised of roughly 90% of Vivian Maier’s work, which has been meticulously reconstructed, archived and catalogued. The collection consists of 100,000 to 150,000 negatives, over 3,000 vintage prints, hundreds of rolls of film, home movies, audio tape interviews, original cameras of Vivian Maier, documents and various other items."

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