BOOK REVIEW — “VIVIAN MAIER, A PHOTOGRAPHER FOUND”

Surely everyone has heard of Vivian Maier by now. For the 2 of you that may have missed it, she was an undiscovered street photographer from 1950’s America. She was a character, working as a nanny and roaming the streets with her little charges. She rarely developed any of her films consequently she didn’t see her images, I wonder if she knew how good she really was.

John Maloof bought a box of these films at an auction. What he found when he developed the film was nothing short of amazing. There has been some controversy about how he handled the situation as Vivian was a loner by all accounts and probably wouldn’t have wanted the attention. I think John has done a wonderful job though. Yes, he has profited from the find but he has also shared this body of work with the rest of us through books, exhibitions, and documentaries.

This book, ‘A Photographer Found’, is one of the most thumbed through on my bookshelf. Vivian took some of the most creative street images that I have had the pleasure of seeing. Her selfies, using reflections and shadows are mind blowing considering the era she was photographing in.

The book contains 235 images. One per page and an informative introduction about Vivian’s life and work. The large format of the book results in deliciously large prints which allow the reader to dive into the image. I love reading the shop signs in the backgrounds and looking at the fashions and styles of the era.

I would have loved to have had a coffee with Vivian but something tells me she’d have stood me up!

You can check out the book on Amazon.