Today there must still be many people who have never heard of Vivian Maier, the nanny who took pictures while taking care of children in Chicago. Although she has became a twentieth century street photography reference, Maier spent 40 years of her life taking photographs and most of their relatives didn’t know.
Today surely a lot of people do not know that Maier’s work was discovered by chance at an auction in 2007. The lucky guy finding the 100,000 negatives was John Maloof, a young man who was looking for photographs to illustrate the book he was writing about Chicago, and he paid $ 380 for the boxes full of undisclosed treasures.
Finding Vivian Maier is the documentary that show to the public life, mysteries and secrets of this peculiar nanny. An Oscar nominated documentary -like The Salt of the Earth-, which not only shows the photographic work of this newyorker grown between France and America; it also reveals her obsessions and rarities.
The documentary, unfortunately for many and perhaps a relief for Maier, leaves unresolved key aspects of her life. Mysteries that she took with her to the grave in 2009 and that would help us understand her eccentric personality and would answer many of the questions that oneself has after watching the documentary.
What did she keep hundreds of newspapers, letters, receipts and invoices? Why did she ask to put a lock in her room? Why did she use fake names? Why didn’t she show her work? Why did she go unnoticed for so many years?
Known for her eccentricities, but mainly for her genius eye for shooting, the photographer Mary Poppins -as some are calling her already- is nowadays a figure of study, business and admiration.
The lucky ones having already watched the documentary are now witness of Maier’s life, someone who never wanted to be the center of attention. They are accomplices of Vivian Maier’s fame, something she did not want but that has led her to become a photography reference.’