Artist Spotlight: Vivian Maier

Have you heard her story? It’s a good one.

In March 2011 I was thrilled to attend the exhibit “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” at the Chicago Cultural Center. Centered on the life and works of the mid-20th century nanny/photographer extraordinaire, the exhibit was the result of a 2008 discovery via a storage unit auction of Maier’s life work (suddenly Storage Wars seems a bit more credible). Not only is the discovery of her work amazing – so is the quality of her work.

As an amateur photographer, street photography has always fascinated me.There’s something especially entrancing about Maier’s work. Her camera captures both light and shadows, and her subjects’ expressions span the range of emotion from anger to apathy.

Is there a particular artist or medium that inspires you?

Here are just a couple of Maier’s works to wet your appetite (All photos by Vivian Maier). For more photographs by Maier, check out this blog.

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Hooked on her story?

Check out this trailer of a new documentary about her life and work:

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2 thoughts on “Artist Spotlight: Vivian Maier

  1. Amy says:

    I love this! Did you see my recent book review about her? Your post is much more personally compelling, I must say. I would be thrilled to see an exhibit of her work.

    • samantha says:

      Great minds think alike? I just read the review – I’ve heard some criticism about the binding and quality of Maloof’s book, but perhaps those were early editions. Glad to see it did not detract from Maier’s work. I believe the Chicago History Museum is currently hosting the original traveling exhibit that I saw at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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