I’ve just watched the most extraordinary film entitled “Finding Vivian Maier.”
The story begins with a man named John Maloof who purchases a box of negatives at an auction and becomes intrigued by the images and whoever created them. It is a detective story that reveals one of the most important street photographers of our time…that no one has ever heard of: Vivian Maier.
What I found most impressive about this story was not the images (which are absolutely amazing) but that Vivian was a complete unknown. She was a nanny who had never shown her work to a single soul as far as anyone knows.
No one knows for sure why Vivian kept her work to herself, but I came away from the film feeling that external validation was not necessary or important to her. I believe that her creations were all the validation that she needed.
I have always believed that I should create for myself and that what others think (family, the public, gallery owners, curators, critics and experts) should be irrelevant. If I love my work, then that should be enough.
At the end of the film John Maloof talks about how difficult it has been to have Vivian’s work recognized by the establishment. In my view this recognition is so very irrelevant, her images speak for themselves and I do not need anyone else to tell me that they are wonderful, and I doubt having the establishments approval would have affected Vivian’s view of her own work.
I recommend this film, it was both entertaining and inspiring!
After you’ve seen it, I’d love to know what you think of her work and why you think she didn’t show it to anyone else.