Thank you to my friend Waldo Muller for introducing me to this arcane photographer and enigma: Vivian Maier. Her work was hidden away in a locker for a very long time, her stark yet innocent but passionate eye observed line and form in the most ‘platonic’ and quite obscure way, but beautiful… just so seamlessley captivating… Her composition and subject matter grabs me, travels with me and wants me to want more… of that moment… I wish I could meet her. She could have been a good friend to Diane Arbus. Maybe they shared the streets ? Vivian you had a hungry heart, I hope we can but celebrate a single moment of you!
Here is more on this mysterious woman, a piece I quote from a website dedicated to her:
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
Piecing together Vivian Maier’s life can easily evoke Churchill’s famous quote about the vast land of Tsars and commissars that lay to the east. A person who fit the stereotypical European sensibilities of an independent liberated woman, accent and all, yet born in New York City. Someone who was intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks.
A free spirit but also a proud soul, Vivian became poor and was ultimately saved by three of the children she had nannied earlier in her life. Fondly remembering Maier as a second mother, they pooled together to pay for an apartment and took the best of care for her. Unbeknownst to them, one of Vivian’s storage lockers was auctioned off due to delinquent payments. In those storage lockers lay the massive hoard of negatives Maier secretly stashed throughout her lifetime.
Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.