Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vivian Maier, or the unsustainable nothingness of being

Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do.

"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it."

"Vivian came here from France in the early 1930's and worked in a sweat shop in New York when she was about 11 or 12. She was not Jewish but a Catholic, or as they said, an anti-Catholic. She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men's jacket, men's shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone." John Maloof

I just started to look through the newly discovered works of this exceptional, unknown artist, and I cannot imagine the thrill and sadness of John Maloof when he realized to be the only one to have the responsibility of what remains of Vivian's life, and had to show her treasure to the world.

There is nothing I can say about those wonderful shots except that they are... well, wonderful. For my personal aesthetic sensibility, this is the best street photography I ever saw.
This lifelong work really risked to be destroyed or forgotten forever... and this makes me think about the impermanence of our lives. 

This post is only to add a stone to the grave of a great photographer; like many other great artists, she did not have the satisfaction to have her talent recognized in life. 


Post a Comment

search into visions

friends and followers