The Art of Photography:Mike Mudd's Learning Log

The Art of Photography:Mike Mudd's Learning Log

Vivian Maier

General ReadingPosted by Mike Mon, July 01, 2013 19:33:29

The recent Alan Yentob BBC production provided an illuminating modern reflection upon the work of Vivian Maier, a modern reflection in that there is so little known about this very private individual, and we only have our modern interpretation of her work now she has passed away.

After surveying the many references upon twentieth century photography and street photography, via TAOP and wider reading it is easy to assume that these same references affected her work, though it is a pleasing thought to consider that this New York Nanny to the children of upper and middle class New York operated outside these reference works - under her own influence and in isolation from the same works which influence my works as a student at the OCA.

The images so far released of Maiers work are both observant, intimate, strong and not without humour, though compared to the works of William Klein and other New York street photographers they are not aggressive or intrusive. This distinction from other works of the same period is perhaps a reflection of her sex, and of course of the head down non eye contact photographer via the Roliflex camera.

most markedly in my mind is the suggestion that her photography was such an acute and composed practice, with each of the twelve frames in each roll of film that was exposed in her Roliflex was a quality image - considered and well captured both technically with a fully manual camera and compositionally in attraction - reflecting in my mind that Maier was certainly an unacknowledged master of her art.

It can only be guessed upon, but to imagine her reaction to he current posthumous fame across the globe may not have been so agreeable to such an intensely private individual.

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