I really feel a sadness for artists who die poor but leave a rich body of work which makes someone else extremely prosperous and famous. Such a soul was Vivian Maier. She was the daughter of a French woman and an Austrian father. Vivian lived in France in her youth but eventually moved to New York and then Chicago. She spent the last forty years of her life working as a nanny but she was really a civil spy using her Rolleiflex to record American life on the streets.
Vivian Maier had a love for photography. She took her wards along to shady parts of the town and photographed away blissfully. She was not rich and we can ascribe the undeveloped rolls of film left in a storage facility to her inability to pay for the developing. She stored her secret cache of film roles, movie reels and other paraphernalia at a public storage establishment. She became poorer as she became older and was unable to pay the rental for the storage of her treasure. After her death the films and photographs were auctioned and a man named
Maloof made a fortune out of the discovered and developed photos.
These photos mostly in black and white are a record of an era gone by. It also reveals the personality of Vivian who was very fond of taking self-portraits.
After reading about her and looking at her black and white photographs I feel comforted at my amateur status gaining some professionalism because of my exposure to her frames. All photographers are secret spies and they will get immense inspiration from this strange and lonely person.