Vivian Maier Self-Portrait in the John Maloof Collection, from PhotoBurrito.com

Discovering Photographer Vivian Maier

Discovering Photographer Vivian Maier….a remarkable trove of photographic art is unearthed!

Seven years ago, an auction-hunter named John Maloof purchased boxes of negatives from the estate auction of Vivian Maier, apparently in or near Chicago. What he found when he printed the negatives is probably one of the most significant photo art discoveries of recent times. Maier was purely an “amateur photographer.” She took pictures because, the way I see it,  she must have constantly felt the impact of light and shadow in her life and in her prolific travels. Oh what images they are! Here is an example:

From The John Maloof Collection, photo by Vivian Maier, from PhotoBurrito.com
From The John Maloof Collection, photo by Vivian Maier, from PhotoBurrito.com

The images strike you immediately because it says so much in such a small scope–the proverbial 10,000 words is well-represented in each of Vivian’s pictures. Her vision was enviable. I guess she was not a technical-oriented person and that freed her from technical considerations. Look at the use of light in this self-portrait!

Vivian Maier Self-Portrait in the John Maloof Collection, from PhotoBurrito.com
Vivian Maier Self-Portrait in the John Maloof Collection, from PhotoBurrito.com

The image is gripping because Vivian chose to let light and shadow bisect her face. This is just one small example of what is in general a thrilling and joyous collection of photographs. We all owe a debt to John Maloof for saving and curating this collection. Do yourself a favor and visit the Vivian Maier web site that John runs. It won’t be a waste of your time–I guarantee it.

All text copyright 2014 by Don Merz and PhotoBurrito.com.
Images are copyrighted property of John Maloof. 

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