Along with the stories we’re telling on the radio, there are stories that must be seen to be believed. This one came to us when we put out an online call for stories and suggestions.
In the course of this project we’ll be featuring the lives of women who are under the radar, hidden, and unknown. Women who broke new ground, who went it alone, who worked anonymously, who put something of beauty into the world. Here’s a woman we just discovered, thanks to photographer, Sandra Wong Geroux who lives in Chicago. She sent us this blog post, written by John Maloof about the little-known photographer Vivan Maier who lived and worked in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s. From John’s post:
I acquired Vivian’s negatives while at a furniture and antique auction. From what I know, the auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. I didn’t know what ‘street photography’ was when I purchased them.
It took me days to look through all of her work. It inspired me to pick up photography myself. Little by little, as I progressed as a photographer, I would revisit Vivian’s negatives and I would “see” more in her work. I bought her same camera and took to the same streets soon to realize how difficult it was to make images of her caliber. I discovered the eye she had for photography through my own practice. Needless to say, I am attached to her work. [Read the entire post and take a look at photographs of Vivian Maier here].
When we were in Chicago for the Third Coast Filmless Festival, we interviewed John Maloof about Vivian Maier’s life and photography and how he came to acquire her negatives.
John is working with publisher PowerHouse Books on a book of Vivian’s work expected to be released in the first half of 2011. And a feature length documentary film is currently in production on John and Vivian’s story.