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  1. #1
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Well, we've heard of Vivian Maier

    Even if Mother Jones hasn't. Interesting story:

    http://motherjones.com/media/2011/04...er-john-maloof

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the info!

    Jeff

  3. #3
    mono's Avatar
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    I saw her images here in Hamburg.
    All I can say: great street photography.
    The exhibition is very much worth seeing!
    Last edited by mono; 05-21-2011 at 03:37 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    ________

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    Folker

    MonoArt - fine photographs

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Love her work.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Old news but thanks anyway.

  6. #6
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Some thoughts I have about Maier

    I cannot help noticing that her obituary mentions she was a great photographer, nonetheless a few days after her deaths her relatives were immediately giving away all her work by the kilogram. It makes me think how lonely photographers are in their passion. Most people would not understand taking pictures of anything different than their relatives, dog, girl-friend, and places they were during holidays. Nothing wrong with that, but I think that for most people taking simply pictures of "life around us" must seem weird, the hobby of the nut. No wonder she was not "understood" in life. She probably had no understanding, appreciation and no encouragement from people near her.

    Another thought: some of the pictures of Vivian Maier are, so to speak, "obviously good". Nonetheless she probably had no illusions that a nanny could ever walk into a gallery and propose her work. If she had been friend with some famous photographer or gallerist of the times she could maybe have been famous. The point here is that "obviously good" images maybe are not enough.

    The "great photographers" we know are probably just a random selection among the many equally great unknown photographers around us. The "random" selection is mostly made by life circumstances that end up being more important than the body of work itself.

    Or maybe not. Vivian Maier left behind her a huge body of work. It's likely that the vast majority of those images are not that interesting anyway. The first rule in this case should be: "show only the best". And one has to be able to discern what is better and what is worse. And she wasn't a good printer, it seems. Well, that reminds me of an aunt of mine, which writes absolutely stunning poems in Roman dialects but lacks the "energy" to do all the limae labor, the painful job of perfecting the raw material to make it shine. She finds "instant satisfaction" in the poem as it first appeared, and than just concentrate on the next one. She doesn't even see when a verse is somehow weak, or when there is some style problem. I suppose Vivian Maier was a bit the same: more, more and more pictures, without too much self-critique, without the urge to perfect the art or printing. "Instant satisfaction" without a "direction" so to speak.
    It's perfectly legitimate, it's her choice, but it's also a pity because this way a lot of genius gets wasted in the world.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Another thought: some of the pictures of Vivian Maier are, so to speak, "obviously good". Nonetheless she probably had no illusions that a nanny could ever walk into a gallery and propose her work. If she had been friend with some famous photographer or gallerist of the times she could maybe have been famous. The point here is that "obviously good" images maybe are not enough.

    The "great photographers" we know are probably just a random selection among the many equally great unknown photographers around us. The "random" selection is mostly made by life circumstances that end up being more important than the body of work itself.
    I don't believe that the "greats" are a random set, nor that their photographic work is better than many lesser knowns, or even better than what the average APUGer is capable of.

    What the "greats" all do seem to hold in common are simply; the choice to enter, the talent for, and the will to succeed in photography as a business, nothing more.

    For example, Ansel Adams could very easily have ended up as a concert pianist.

    This is not to say they didn't get good at their craft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Or maybe not. Vivian Maier left behind her a huge body of work. It's likely that the vast majority of those images are not that interesting anyway. The first rule in this case should be: "show only the best". And one has to be able to discern what is better and what is worse. And she wasn't a good printer, it seems. Well, that reminds me of an aunt of mine, which writes absolutely stunning poems in Roman dialects but lacks the "energy" to do all the limae labor, the painful job of perfecting the raw material to make it shine. She finds "instant satisfaction" in the poem as it first appeared, and than just concentrate on the next one. She doesn't even see when a verse is somehow weak, or when there is some style problem. I suppose Vivian Maier was a bit the same: more, more and more pictures, without too much self-critique, without the urge to perfect the art or printing. "Instant satisfaction" without a "direction" so to speak.
    It's perfectly legitimate, it's her choice, but it's also a pity because this way a lot of genius gets wasted in the world.
    Henri Catier-Bresson could be accused of the same failing, given that he had little or no interest in and hired out all of his printing. A hunter not a cook.

    HCB did though choose to self-promote. He chose to be in business, that's a lot of work.

    I see it as a shame that one must succeed commercially to be considered a great.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    mono's Avatar
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    < I see it as a shame that one must succeed commercially to be considered a great. >
    And that´s why I think her work is great!
    ________

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    Folker

    MonoArt - fine photographs

  9. #9
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    What I think is great about Ms. Maier is that she took the photos for herself and stayed true to her vision; her passion was in the taking of the photos. I seem to lose this vision when I try to do something that someone else would like.

  10. #10

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    Anyone who's done street knows it's a very lonely affair. You can bring other photogs with you, but they will only get in the way. Getting past feeling like a creep who's invading privacy is also a big hump to get over.

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