A good street photographer must be possessed of many talents: an eye for detail, light, and composition; impeccable timing; a populist or humanitarian outlook; and a tireless ability to constantly shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and never miss a moment. It is hard enough to find these qualities in trained photographers with the benefit of schooling and mentors and a community of fellow artists and aficionados supporting and rewarding their efforts. It is incredibly rare to find it in someone with no formal training and no network of peers. Yet Vivian Maier is all of these things, a professional nanny, who during the course of the 50s and 60s took over 100,000 photographs of Chicago and New York City street scenes, and yet showed the results to no one. The photos are amazing both for the breadth of the work and for the high quality of the humorous, moving, beautiful, and raw images of all facets of city life in Americaâs post-war golden age. It wasnât until realtor and amateur historian John Maloof stumbled upon a box of anonymous negatives in a Chicago auction house just a few years ago that any of her marvelous work saw the light of day. After additional research Maloof was able to identify Maier as the artist and track down the rest of her work floating around various auction houses and antique shops in the Chicago area. Presented here for the first time in print, Vivian Maier: Street Photographer collects the first wave of the best of her incredible body of work-much of which still hasnât been enlarged or in some case even developed into negatives. Hidden treasures like this donât come along every day, and powerHouse is excited and honored to present this astounding body of never-before-seen work to the public at large.
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