“Finding Vivian Maier”

Romain Polge | Lindenlink Reporter

You should find Vivian Maier.

If you enjoy learning about astonishing stories and photographs, Vivian Maier is a photographer you must know.

“Vivian Maier represents an extreme instance of posthumous discovery of someone who exists entirely in terms of what she saw. Not only was she entirely unknown to the photographic world, hardly anyone seemed to know that she even took photographs.”

This quote, written by Geoff Dyer in the book “Vivian Maier: Street Photography” summarize exactly the story of Maier; an amazing photographer who had never told anyone that she took photographs.

The person, who found her photographs, and works, is John Maloof. In 2007, while Maloof was in Chicago, he bought at an auction, and for very cheap, an amazing number of negatives and prints (more than 30,000) owned by a totally unknown photographer, Vivian Maier.

The rest of the story is a Hollywood one. What Maloof discovered was not just some simple pictures but an amazing collection of street photographs. As soon as he discovered that collection, he decided to find the rest of her work (he has now more than 300,000 files (photos, videos, audios) and he wrote a photography-book in 2011, titled, Vivian Maier: Street Photography.

Then, he started to learn about her life, which was the hardest part.

Getting information about her life was so complicated that he decided to film it and make a documentary that is coming out this year, under the name of “Finding Vivian Maier”. He discovered that Maier was a very lonely person who did not have any friends or family and she did not talk about her passion for photography to anyone. Born in 1926, Maier died in 2009 in complete silence, after selling all of her work to pay bills. Now, she will get the fame that she never had by becoming one of the most interesting street photographers of all time.