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VIVIAN MAIER, JEU DE PAUME

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Isabella Cecconi

The archetypal of self-taught photographer, with a sense of observation and an eye for composition. She was a nanny, a street photogapher, whose talent may be comparable with that of the major figures of American street photography such as Lisette Model, Helen Levitt or Diane Arbus. The exhibition presented at Jeu de Paume is the largest ever exhibition in France devoted to Vivian Maier. It includes 120 black and white and colour gelatin silver prints, as well as Super 8 films she made. Maier was discovered by chance by John Maloof, who discovered her astonishing photos by chance in 2007 at an auction. what came out was that Maier was a discreet person and a loner. She took more than 120,000 photos over a period of thirty years and only showed this work to a mere handful of people during her lifetime. She lived as a governess, but all her free time and every day off was spent walking through the streets of New York, with a camera slung around her neck. The children she looked after described her as a cultivated and open-minded woman, generous but not very warm. Vivian Maier remained totally unknown until her death in April 2009. Photography seemed to be much more than a passion to her. Her activity was the result of a deeply felt need, almost an obsession. A unique occasion. LET’S GO TO PARIS!