Distant camera

With the “likes” of social media these days, everybody likes to be liked. But this wasn’t the case for American nanny, Vivian Maier. A self taught photographer, she hid behind her rolleiflex camera, documenting the world around her. Shooting over the course of 50 years, no one had seen her work….until now. In 2007, loaded with over 100,00 negatives, John Maloof won a container at auction. No one knew he was about to discover one of the greatest street photographers of our time.

Vivian Maier Self Portrait
Photograph by Vivian Maier

A very private woman, she never showed anyone her photographs. Not even the families that she nannied for.

Vivian Maier Self Portrait
Photograph by Vivian Maier

She may have documented everything around her like we do today, but unlike us, she never showed anyone her photographs. The greatest majority of her work she didn’t even get to see herself….but I did. Seeing her work, at the Centre for Contemporary Photography as part of the Melbourne Festival, blew me away. Maier had such an artistic eye for composition and light. The honesty of her photo’s allow you to step into the picture and I can tell you there’s no instagram filter that allows you to feel that.  She may have not wanted us to see her work, but we cannot turn a blind eye to such a great talent.  It was such a thrill for me to see traditional photography be so embraced in this current digital world.

Vivian Maier Self Portrait
Photograph by Vivian Maier

The history of street photography has been re-written with the discovery of Vivian Maier and the #selfie

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Photo: Diane Kitanoski for thisisroshambo.com inspired by Vivian Maier
Title: “Distant Camera” – Neil Young
Exhibition: “Crossing Path’s with Vivian Maier”  showing at Centre for Contemporary Photography until Sun 26th Oct 2014
Work courtesy of: Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Melbourne Festival www.melbournefestival.com.au 10-26 Oct 2014
All rights reserved © This is Roshambo

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