A second book of photographs from the critically acclaimed street photographer Vivian Maier has just been released. Titled Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, it features never-before-seen work from the recently uncovered artist.
For those new to the story, Maier’s photographs were first found just a few years ago, when filmmaker John Maloof stumbled upon thousands of undeveloped negatives at a neighborhood auction in Chicago. The work he uncovered was breathtaking — a collection of candid portraiture depicting city life across a span of 50+ years — and quickly caught the attention of artists, enthusiasts, and curators all over the world. It was a story that unfolded alongside an early Kickstarter project on the identity of the mysterious photographer who spent her entire life working as a nanny.
Now, years later, it seems we’re no closer to unpacking the enigma of Vivian. From Slate’s piece on Out of the Shadows:Co-authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams spent the last year attempting to fill the gaps in the story of Vivian Maier. They contacted just about every home she’d worked in, interviewed the children she cared for, the neighbors who watched her with skepticism as she pointed her camera into garbage cans. They found the people who repaired her cameras and those who sold her film. And the answer, sadly, for those of us hoping to get even further into Vivian Maier’s brain, is no. There was no one. Maier’s only partner in life, her only confidant, was her camera.
Who was Vivian Maier? We may never know the answer — even as we experience the world through her eyes.
Some more great info: The Greatest Photo Collection Never Seen.