Vivian Maier & I

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I first heard of Vivian Maier on the radio in Spring 2014. The story was so incredible, so hallucinating that I dug into it over the internet almost instantly.

Born in 1926, Vivian Maier spent her life shooting something like 250.000 pictures of Chicago, NYC and places where she lived. She had an incredible talent to frame the daily life & scenes with her 6×6 Rollei cam and every picture I saw was a treat. Mesmerizing is the right word. The work she produced while never actually have it printed or even known before her death was overwhelming. I fell under her talent’s spell almost immediately.

I read all I could find about her, how John Maloof found her legacy by accident, went to see the movie he made on her, visited 2 expos and finally learned that Maloof and one of the two other owners of her work were actually selling a limited set of prints of her work. I checked out two galleries in France and the choice of pictures proposed were limited.

I kept searching on the Internet and found the Howard Greenberg gallery who were mandated to sell the prints in the US. Very welcoming, that gallery offered a larger choice and I decided to buy one there that caught my eye in a book I bought on Vivian Maier. I like faces, wrinkles, I’ve no problem with misery and what life does to people and the picture of this old man whose life seemed not far from the end definitely won me over and I bought it.

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As I’m not a friend of unnecessary taxes, I decided to have the picture shipped to me by a friend of a friend living in the US. It took quite a while and kept me in doubt in the last days before arrival. But finally 3 weeks after shipping it with US Postal, it was there and I could finally enjoy my own Vivian Maier print at home, sharing a small bit of her talent.

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Howard Greenberg packed it well and it arrived intact at my door. I had to order a frame to get it on the wall which I did right afterwards. Framing can get expensive, especially when the picture is really large like that Maier print. Being on a business trip abroad, the frame arrived in my absence. The guy actually simply dropped it on my front door and left. Unbelievable…

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And finally, everything fitted together, it’s now there, on the wall making me quite happy I must say. Vivian Maier’s story is unique and certainly sad at the same time if we consider her own life. But she was a genius, an incredibly talented photographer living in an age that she covered in an unequalled manner that leaves you silent in admiration.

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I paid a little homage to her work by buying this print – and put also away some money from the french IRS 😉

Keep in mind that art is exempted from taxes in France !

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