I've stated this before in this thread. Way before Maier was an internet sensation - Nobles words
I am confused with this statement... this is a recent thread, when do you think Vivian Maier's work was discovered?
I believe with the effort of exposing 100,000 individual images, one will develop an eye.
Have you heard of Fred Herzog? His story kind of reminds me of Vivian, quite different but similar, he is still alive.
Perhaps she was obsessive and compulsive and somewhat socially odd but she put that all to good use.
An interesting part of the story is that the negatives were originally divided into three parts by the guy who sold them. Three different individuals bought them.
Maloof started selling his part on ebay until people demanded he stop. Then he started a flickr page and people told him the work was great and then he started producing it
and had exhibits and made a book. Only then did the second guy seeing how famous she was becoming start producing his part with exhibits and books.
I went to a talk by the second guy and saw a show of the work and it became clear how important was the editing by these buyers. The second guys exhibit seemed to me not nearly
as good as the first set. Then in the talk the second guy admitted editing out a whole series of her work shooting down into garbage cans because he didn't think people would be interested in that.
The third part of the work has yet to be produced. the guy who bought it is sitting on it and no one knows how much work he has or how good it is.
My friend is in the first group of people who bought from Maloof off Ebay.
Some of you folks should turn off your computers and make photographs.
(like I'm doing riiiiight now)
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
But its a great way to feel better about one's own lame photography by slamming someone else's. Especially someone who throughout her life could not give a flying rat's ass about what anyone thought of her work. How dare she!! Based on the tone of these forums lately I'm surprised no one called her work a complete waste of film.
Originally Posted by Toffle
One thing for sure: no one's gonna discover any of our work after we're long dead and start publishing books about what geniuses we were!
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While it may be a difficult pill for some here to swallow, I'm pretty darned sure Ms. Maier had never even heard of APUG.
"Some photographers are the poets of purple mountains' majesty. Some are the poets of the placid suburbs. Weegee is the poet of small-timers who died face down on a city pavement at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own blood."
— Richard Lacayo, Photography: Dames! Stiffs! Mugs!, Time Magazine, January 12, 1998
This is not about "slamming" someone's work. This is about discussing the rubric by which you anoint an artist "one of the greatest" of all time. By default if you say they are the greatest or one of the greatest that means you rank them above all or most others. Many of us could argue you are "slamming" the work of everyone else if you aren't looking at the situation holistically.
Originally Posted by rich815
And why is it that there are some people on this forum that feel if they disagree with someone's reasoning for ranking a third party's art work that must mean the person they disagree with has a crappy portfolio. Guy's if you have a point make it. Don't just blast portfolios you've never seen. I've seen people with incredible portfolios say incredibly stupid things. Critiquing a portfolio you've never seen is an odd way to take the moral high ground.
Originally Posted by rich815
For the record I think the vast majority of people on this forum think Maier's portfolio contains a lot of nice pictures. We are merely having an esoteric fine arts debate about her being one of the greatest. Take it easy.
This brings up something that I find interesting.
I have all of Fred Pickers Notes, in the 70's and 80's I worked at photography as a printer and lived and died by his notes and some of the photo mags of the time. It was my only connection to the outside world of photography.
She is of an era even before the FP notes and she worked it seems relentlessly at exposing film, Was there a photo culture in Chicago at that time ??
But since the days of internet, APUG, Large Format has replaced The Notes and Camera Mag's as a place to talk to others interested in photography.
So I actually think she would be here , most likely under an assumed name , jumping in here and there where she felt comfortable talking.
I am one who thinks the new Ansel Adams, HCB, Brassai or August Sander may be talking on one of these forums.
It is international, it is all encompassing photo talk, and yes full of knobs but still a great place to learn.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
I agree that we are not attempting to "slam" anyone's work. Not mine, yours, Maier's, or anyone elses. That much we can agree on.
Originally Posted by Noble
However, I am still confused about this holistic rubric that we are supposed to be applying to Vivian Maier or HCB (or Weston, Adams, et al.) I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert on what "art" really is but I do know that there are those out there who consider Steve Ditko's work on Spyderman to be great "art." What standard of performance has been used in that case is probably up for discussion as well. But, if you consider art to be, the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, then in my opinion, Vivian Maier's work certainly qualifies IMHO.
Now, where she stands in relation to other photographic artists is a completely different question, but that seems to be where this thread has been going. It has been stated that she is not in the same category as Henri Bresson, and because of that she does not qualify as "great." That, IMHO, moves our discussion away from any "artistic rubric" and turns it into a popularity contest instead. I do believe that much of her work was considerably above the norm, so I consider her to be a great artist. Now, is she as great, or greater, than some of the other artists whose names have been mentioned? I do not know.
To go any further I guess we need to know what standard of performance needs to be met to reach greatness?
Just saw the BBC documentary. Awe inspiring to say the least! My jaw dropped at the sight of many of her photos that I had never seen before. All of them touched me in a way or another. Especially when you get to see some of them in sequence from the same roll. Her hit rate was truly phenomenal! She was not a pro, and thus couldn't afford the luxury of shooting rolls after rolls on a subject, trying to get lucky. She pre-edited her work in her mind by making each frame count. That's why I hope we can get to see an as much complete body of work of hers as possible. To my mind she is the essence of a pure artist, working only for her own satisfaction. Discovering her and her work is a tremendous lucky event in the history of photography. I believe her recognition will only grow with time. She documented a place and time with a unique eye like no other photographer, no matter how talented or recognized, could. Her body of work is priceless.