Christmas Gift Idea - Vivian Maier Street Photographer - Book

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jon koss

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Was just doing some straightening up around here and came across the caption book. Wow, I am just blown way every time I look throughout it. Maier was a true original with some of the same photoDNA as contemporaries such as Arbus, Model, Weegee etc. The discovery of Maier is really a once in a lifetime event. Can't recommend it highly enough, especially at the price point! If your family is asking you what you want for Christmas, please put this book on the top of the list. You will not regret!

J
 

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Vonder

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I must be the only one on Earth who finds her work completely mundane.
 

hdeyong

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The excellent photography magazine here in France, "Reponses Photo" did a major article on her a couple of months ago, and I'm definitely getting that book. It ran about a dozen of her pictures, and I thought they were fantastic.
 

Pioneer

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I must be the only one on Earth who finds her work completely mundane.

Yep, you are probably right. But don't feel too bad. Everyone has different tastes in art as well as food and women. If everyone were the same this would be a very boring world.
 
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The excellent photography magazine here in France, "Reponses Photo" did a major article on her a couple of months ago, and I'm definitely getting that book. It ran about a dozen of her pictures, and I thought they were fantastic.

I wonder what she would have thought about everything that has happened since she passed? I wonder if she would have done anything differently if she had known?

Ken
 

hdeyong

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From the 3 page long bio in the article, it seems she stayed single all her life, was certainly an introvert, and took pictures simply because she loved to do so. It seems like she hardly ever showed anybody anything, which in itself is kind of amazing. Apparently, there was a large number of undeveloped films in the collection the guy bought at the storage auction and the only reason people can come up with, why they were never processed, is that she was unable to afford it. I believe she was a nanny for the last part of her life, and if her health was failing a little, I can well imagine she would be short of $$$.
That's why I am getting this book for sure, hoping there will be some answers as to why a person would spend a huge amount of time and a good portion of her disposable income taking some really great pictures, and pretty much keep them hidden.
I realize that now and then a "media darling" is created, simply because it's a good story. But, in my opinion, she was a superb photographer, and never had a minute's training.
I have the funny feeling, that even had she known, she may not have done things too much differently.
A very interesting story.
 

batwister

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From the 3 page long bio in the article, it seems she stayed single all her life, was certainly an introvert, and took pictures simply because she loved to do so. It seems like she hardly ever showed anybody anything, which in itself is kind of amazing. Apparently, there was a large number of undeveloped films in the collection the guy bought at the storage auction and the only reason people can come up with, why they were never processed, is that she was unable to afford it. I believe she was a nanny for the last part of her life, and if her health was failing a little, I can well imagine she would be short of $$$.
That's why I am getting this book for sure, hoping there will be some answers as to why a person would spend a huge amount of time and a good portion of her disposable income taking some really great pictures, and pretty much keep them hidden.
I realize that now and then a "media darling" is created, simply because it's a good story. But, in my opinion, she was a superb photographer, and never had a minute's training.
I have the funny feeling, that even had she known, she may not have done things too much differently.
A very interesting story.

Can we conclude then that she's an interesting personality first and a half decent photographer second?

Photography can be a lonely vocation at the best of times and I think the real value of Vivian Maier lies in a kind of lifestyle catharsis for the tireless photographer. This is something that seems to appeal to even the most well regarded and arguably, better image makers, like Joel Meyerowitz and Alec Soth, who enjoy her.

I won't, however, be buying her book and here's a few reasons why from my reading list:

Jem Southam - Landscape Stories
Peter Mitchell - Strangely Familiar
Chris Killip - Work
Gerry Johansson - Deutschland
Keith Arnatt - I'm a real photographer
Simon Roberts - We English
Joachim Brohm - Ohio
Steve McCurry - South Southeast
Christian Patterson - Redheaded Peckerwood
 

batwister

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I'm yet to see much critical analysis of her work, especially on APUG, but I'll offer something. Despite my feelings about her label as a 'forgotten great', there are few photographers whose work still has a full impact when printed almost completely straight.
 

irvd2x

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Hey..great idea..but I would expand the list to any book that has been produced by members of this forum! I would love to see the works of other photographers in this site! Is it ok to ask people to make their work known on here?

Sent from my LG-P509 using Tapatalk 2
 

batwister

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Hey..great idea..but I would expand the list to any book that has been produced by members of this forum! I would love to see the works of other photographers in this site! Is it ok to ask people to make their work known on here?

Sent from my LG-P509 using Tapatalk 2

What I'd like to see is a book review sticky thread - ok, maybe not quite reviews, but each post would include a few plates and the poster's thoughts. Mods, would you consider this if I got the ball rolling?
 
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jon koss

jon koss

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Can we conclude then that she's an interesting personality first and a half decent photographer second?

Gosh, don't tar me with that brush. I would align with hdeyong and say that we can conclude that she is a superb photographer. A lot of her stuff goes back 60 years. She was born almost a century ago! She is a contemporary of Arbus and Winogrand. Either she was a shameless copycat or she independently discovered what we might call the Rolleiflex school of brutal photography. Just one opinion - no claim as to gospel.

J
PS: The blur is mine not hers.
 

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