In 2007, when payments went delinquent on a storage space belonging to an elderly french/hungarian woman in Chicago's North Side , it's contents were auctioned off. Amidst all the boxes and newspapers were discovered a massive collection of film rolls, negatives, and prints containing beautiful & somewhat mysterious imagery.
City Cowboy by Vivian Maier
After their discovery at a local thrift auction house by collectors, it set off a chain reaction among collectors to discover who was the original owner/photographer of these images. Finding a name in one of the boxes sold, one collector by the name of John Maloof could only connect it to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, detailing the recent passing of a woman who was unable to recover from a head injury after falling on some ice. The woman named in the death note was Vivian Maier.
Self-Portrait Dress by Vivian Maier
After John posted a link in his blog to a photo collection of Vivian's work, the response was overwhelming as her body of resonated strongly with the internet, sparking a gigantic wave of interest in her work. The world's fascination with Vivian's photography has grown to the point where 2 documentary films have been made about her life. Unfortunately to this day, many details about her life are still unknown.
Working as a nanny for nearly 40 years, John was able to ascertain that Vivian "was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. ... She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone." based on the descriptions of the children she nannied.
Kids With Masks by Vivian Maier
The Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles is currently holding an exhibit of Vivian's body of iconic work from the Maloof collection. On view every Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6pm, this exhibit closes on February 27th.
For more information of this showing, please visit: mkgallery.com