vivian maier

I realise now the rest of the world knew about this discovery last year.

Excuse my ignorance. Vivian Maier is officially posthumously big in street photography. Diane Arbus big. Undiscovered in her 40-year Chicago lifetime.

To the young local historian who found her work, busy scanning tens of thousands of unseen rolleiflex frames – and other collectors – it’s the tip of the iceberg. Words fail me, she is brilliant. And somewhat tragic, sad to say: not suicide but ignomious in talented poverty and ignored isolated old age – frightening: as Morrissey says, “shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to” – in Maier’s case it was simply not showing her work to others (reasons now unknown – got a good guess though why she sidestepped the fame/gallery system – ironically this simply gives her even more kudos to those who will inevitably in the coming years be in ultimate control of the “assets”).

Gallery at New York Times’ LENS
John Maloof’s blog
Jeff Goldstein’s blog