Monday, November 24, 2014

Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found

It's BIG, it's thick, it's (fairly) Expen$ive- most of all it's... surprisingly damn good! Surprisingly, not because I had any doubt whatsoever about Vivian Maier's talent, but because this is the first book of her work that one doesn't have to make excuses for. There's nothing to complain about as far as the quality of the reproductions (unlike that first powerHouse sepia fiasco), and there's a good amount of work included- even though the book excludes some shots I've already come to regard as "favorites," there's still many a potent image to be found here that demonstrates just how much talent she had at her command. You look through this body of work and any lingering doubt that anyone may still hold that she was just some lucky holiday snapshooter with a load of posthumous publicity at her back... well, that just implodes and dissipates into the envious, vacuous bullshit that it always was.

This woman was in control of her vision- and she was killing it. A shot of her with Rollei and Leica at the forefront shows this was one very determined female on a mission. Nothing la-de-da in her attitude, or her results. I just came upon Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found the other day, so I'm late in the game, but there's no doubt whatsoever this is the best of the bunch thus far, by far. You get a good sense of who and what she was as an artist, and it is amazing how she predated so much of what was yet to come on the street...

And as if that wasn't enough, there's even a few choice color shots thrown in; a handful to be fair, but just enough to let you know that she could talk the talk and walk the walk in that language too. A couple could easily have gone into Eggleston's For Now. I don't have the money to grab this one at the moment (Xmas sounds nice), but it's certainly good to know that there's finally, at least one good, representative book out there, right now that shows Ms. Maier in her best light before that scum trawling bucket of sleaze gummed up the works.

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