Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was an amateur street photographer who was born in New York, grew up in France and worked as a nanny in Chicago for forty years. In her lifetime she took around 100,000 photographs of people, Chicago city scenes and places around the world.
Her work remained unknown until many boxes of negatives, undeveloped film and some of Maier’s personal effects were purchased by John Maloof at an anitque auction in Chicago in 2007. Maloof tells the story of how he found her work in this video.
Her work is simply stunning. The compositions are bold and she clearly had a gift for gaining close, even intimate proximity and access to her human subjects.
One wonders how many artists like this walk among us, perhaps taking care of our children, bagging our groceries or delivering our mail.