Categories
Documentary Film Photography Photojournalism

Finding Vivian Maier

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. I’ve been following Vivian Maier’s story since its inception.

Finding Vivian Maier is the incredible story of an amazing street photographer who moonlighted as a nanny.

This documentary was supposed to be out early in 2012, and it has been an arduous wait for all of us. I am, however, confident that it would have been worth it.

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 An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990′s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks for new development, the unseen lives of ethnics and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.

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.

Currently, Vivian Maier’s body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.

Categories
Documentary People Photography Photojournalism

Love Would Never Leave Us Alone

Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved and be loved?

Don’t let them fool ya,
Or even try to school ya! Oh, no!

We’ve got a mind of our own,
So go to hell if what you’re thinking is not right!

Love would never leave us alone,
A-yin the darkness there must come out to light.

Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved, wo now! – and be loved?

– Could You Be Loved, Bob Marley

Soul Rebel by David Burnett

“Soul Rebel shares a collection portraits of Bob Marley captured by award winning photojournalist David Burnett while on assignment for Time Magazine in 1976, and again for Rolling Stone in 1977.  Only a handful of images were used for the said articles, and over 200 images remained unreleased to the public, until Soul Rebel was published.  

 Portraying the charismatic musician at home in Jamaica, as well traveling on the legendary Exodus Tour though Europe, Burnett describes moments behind the scenes at a pinnacle point in Marley’s career.  Accompanying text in the book describes the Reggae moment at the time in Jamaica, as well as Burnett’s perspective of his time with Marley.”

Soul Rebel is available from Gulf Photo Plus in both Hardcover and Paperback.

Categories
Documentary Images Photojournalism

A Box of Old Films : The Vivian Maier Story

Vivian Maier would still be unknown to the world if not for the dedication and hard work of John Maloof. John had purchased a box of old film at an antique action. This purchase led to his discovery of this obscure photography savant who resided in Chicago until late 2009.

The appreciation for Maier’s work continues to grow. And I think we all understand where this fascination stems from: her work is honest, unpretentious and compelling.

A documentary film on Maier’s life and work is expected to be released in 2012, while her book published by PowerHouse books are expected on shelves in Fall 2011. To learn more about Vivian Maier, visit Kickstarter.