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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 Dec 2010 (Thursday) 08:33
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Vivian Maier

 
airfrogusmc
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Dec 23, 2010 08:33 |  #1

Did anyone else see this last night AMAZING WORK...
http://www.vivianmaier​.blogspot.com/ (external link)

Watch the wttw chicago tonight peice too.




  
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crashthenet44
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Dec 23, 2010 09:21 |  #2

Some truly brilliant work in there. This is what street photography is all about. I can't wait to see what the other 30,000 undeveloped negatives have in store for us.

Thanks for posting this.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 23, 2010 12:14 |  #3

crashthenet44 wrote in post #11502379 (external link)
Some truly brilliant work in there. This is what street photography is all about. I can't wait to see what the other 30,000 undeveloped negatives have in store for us.

Thanks for posting this.

No problem. She was truly amazing. Some people just have to photograph just like some have to paint, sculpt, draw, write, play music, etc. Its amazing she never showed anyone this work ever.




  
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tkbslc
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Dec 23, 2010 22:45 |  #4

To me there is nothing really different between her shots and the everyday stuff you see on flickr. It has a bit of a cool nostalgia factor because they were taken a generation ago with medium format film, but really anyone could have shot these.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 23, 2010 23:44 as a reply to  @ tkbslc's post |  #5

I really like the first one with the girl and the white dress and the old Chevy in the background. The one thats was posted May 14 is very good with the pattern of the bricks and the white lines and all of those geometric shapes the large heavy L support supporting something heavy and contrast that with the human shapes, really nice photograph.

Her more staged portraits remind me of some of Diane Arbus's photographs. Maybe staged is the wrong word probably the ones where the subjects are looking back to the camera.

I also really like the mule in middle of the street under the L, the one of the man coming out of the garden apt. Love the eye contact and the sign in the upper left corner but I think the real gem is what you touched on is the slice of life in that time these capture.




  
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Dec 24, 2010 17:46 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #6

Allen, you tell me...Is she that good? Developing certainly wasn't her strong suit.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 24, 2010 17:49 |  #7

chauncey wrote in post #11509734 (external link)
Allen, you tell me...Is she that good? Developing certainly wasn't her strong suit.

It wasn't Bressons either. It would really have been interesting to see the images that she would have picked instead of someone else. Did you go through the other pages by any chance? I found a dozen or so really good images on those pages. Yeah, I think she had a very good eye.




  
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chauncey
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Dec 24, 2010 18:38 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #8

I looked at some, but with my rather pedestrian eye, I simply don't know.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Dec 25, 2010 07:53 |  #9

tkbslc wrote in post #11506323 (external link)
To me there is nothing really different between her shots and the everyday stuff you see on flickr. It has a bit of a cool nostalgia factor because they were taken a generation ago with medium format film, but really anyone could have shot these.

Well, I gotta' sorta' agree with this. I spend a lot of energy studying, reading, and viewing fine art photography.

When attending exhibitions of so-called "geniuses", I've always had a hard time understanding the point of view of a group of people standing around a print of a dumpster in a littered back alley with a toilet on the ground in front of it and chatting about the "genius" of the photographer. I've made posts about it. I've always detected what I perceive as a lot of pretentiousness in the fine art collectors community, and especially so within the urban sector.

But alas, it's art. We all differ. That's what makes the chats about it so interesting.

But I must say that I really, really do like that picture of the horse's ass and the sphinx. I guess I would have to study and analyze more to figure out why. Don't quite know why it appeals to me so much, but that is a good shot.

But thanks for the post, Allen. I always read posts like this and appreciate links like that because even tho' I may not understand the eyes of others, I learn from them.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 25, 2010 09:56 |  #10

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #11511774 (external link)
Well, I gotta' sorta' agree with this. I spend a lot of energy studying, reading, and viewing fine art photography.

When attending exhibitions of so-called "geniuses", I've always had a hard time understanding the point of view of a group of people standing around a print of a dumpster in a littered back alley with a toilet on the ground in front of it and chatting about the "genius" of the photographer. I've made posts about it. I've always detected what I perceive as a lot of pretentiousness in the fine art collectors community, and especially so within the urban sector.

But alas, it's art. We all differ. That's what makes the chats about it so interesting.

But I must say that I really, really do like that picture of the horse's ass and the sphinx. I guess I would have to study and analyze more to figure out why. Don't quite know why it appeals to me so much, but that is a good shot.

But thanks for the post, Allen. I always read posts like this and appreciate links like that because even tho' I may not understand the eyes of others, I learn from them.

One thing that you first should probably think about is, in an exhibit its not the one photo idea but how are the photos all working together to give you an or a look at something thats more important as a whole. Think of each individual photo as a small piece to a puzzle that make up a larger more important whole. Most great works work on many levels and will also give you some insight into the photographer as well. The quote by Minor White:
"....all photographs are selfportraits."
Minor White

Many great street photographs, especially from the documentary photographers, not only have interesting visual elements but also have a historic importance because they also capture snapshots of society and/or life as it was at a particular moment in time. I think from that perspective alone Vivians work has historic value.

Its interesting to that she had no other reason to do these images but passion. She had never shown these to anyone. Though not formally trained she had books by most of the great documentary and street photographers of the time so she had educated herself to some extent.

I would really like to know what she would have shown of her work, in what order they would be shown, which in an exhibit is also very important, and what title she would have the show. Those are all things we will never know.




  
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Dec 25, 2010 10:31 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #11

I used the example of the dumpster and toilet as a singular example, but my thought was about collections as well. Even within a series of similar shots or a "body of work" , I often still fail to see what others see.

However, I will completely agree with you about the historic factor and its importance. One of my all-time favorites is WeeGee. There is but a handful of photographers who illustrated the grit, grime and life of that era as he did. The drama of everyday life captured in a historic context is, and always will be, invaluable.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 25, 2010 10:43 |  #12

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #11512172 (external link)
I used the example of the dumpster and toilet as a singular example, but my thought was about collections as well. Even within a series of similar shots or a "body of work" , I often still fail to see what others see.

However, I will completely agree with you about the historic factor and its importance. One of my all-time favorites is WeeGee. There is but a handful of photographers who illustrated the grit, grime and life of that era as he did. The drama of everyday life captured in a historic context is, and always will be, invaluable.

Yes I agree Arthur Fellig was a great one. Funny when he started to get some critical acclaim he started trying to create "art" and once he started consciously trying he couldn't create it. I think the great Sci Fi writer summed it up perfectly when he said:
"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."
Ray Bradbury

What I think is that real art comes from a place thats an honest and true expression of how that person feels about life in its entirety. An honest way that an artist sees the world. Once you loose that and try and make art its slipped through your fingers.




  
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tkbslc
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Dec 26, 2010 18:55 |  #13

airfrogusmc wrote in post #11512062 (external link)
Its interesting to that she had no other reason to do these images but passion. She had never shown these to anyone. Though not formally trained she had books by most of the great documentary and street photographers of the time so she had educated herself to some extent.

Is that because she was a secret recluse photographer, or just because there was no flickr back then? With no easy/inexpensive way to share your work and self publish, most people were closet photographers before the web. My Grandpa has an attic full of slides from travels around the globe shot on Olympus cameras with good glass during the 50-70s. They are solid above-average photos of all kinds of places and loaded with nostalgia. But nobody found them and decided to promote them as art. Is that the difference?


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Dec 26, 2010 19:08 |  #14

I thought they were interesting... seems like other photographers are the worst critics...


I know, right? I'm just sayin'...

  
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 26, 2010 19:44 |  #15

tkbslc wrote in post #11518510 (external link)
Is that because she was a secret recluse photographer, or just because there was no flickr back then? With no easy/inexpensive way to share your work and self publish, most people were closet photographers before the web. My Grandpa has an attic full of slides from travels around the globe shot on Olympus cameras with good glass during the 50-70s. They are solid above-average photos of all kinds of places and loaded with nostalgia. But nobody found them and decided to promote them as art. Is that the difference?

I actually think some are pretty good. Better than a lot of the stuff I see around. I can't comment on your GP's photos I haven't seen them but its clear she Vivian had some strong influences. I see some De Carava, Arbus, Besson, Robert Frank, Bernice Abbott in some of her work. To be fair to the artist we will never know what or how she would have organized and put her work together to be shown which is also a very important part of the process. Seeing the work in person will also give a bit more insight.




  
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