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Thursday, 13 December 2012


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Interesting that you made no mention of the quality of the print(s) included with the set. Did your loaner include one? Or, can the quality not really be "judged," as the photographer had no hand in these at all?

(NB: I'm still vaguely uneasy about the seeming competition to make a splash/name/profit from her work...)

"and your choice of three original prints. "
Might want to emend to "choice of one print from three original prints" or maybe I'm the only one who got it wrong ?
ps good to see you back Mike hope you're feeling better.

That's a really nice package, although I'm not crazy about the idea of three self portraits. Then again, it's beyond my reach so what do I know?

I believe Maloof sold a portion of what he found to Goldstien.

Later Maloof tried to buy it back but Goldstien wisely said NO.

Wow. I have the 'Joe Six-Pack' version of the book, purchased based on this site's recommendation. Thank you for that.

Having just glanced at the special edition web page, i can't imagine they could have selected three worse images for the silver prints....

And, i agree with Mr. Roche. I thought your wording suggested the purchaser could choose three prints, not one OF three.

I've no comment on Maloof or Goldstein's efforts or initiatives. I've not met either fellow and have no impression of their intentions regarding representing or selling Maier's works other than their books or shows.

Standing back from the particular photographer, however, just what the heck would be the conceptual or artistic value of having ONE print from a stream of such work? Other than the financial valuation of having, say, one Lee Friedlander, what would it really represent? At most it's a souvenir of something bigger and more significant.

That's why I so deeply enjoy good photo books. A well-designed, well-researched, and intelligently-conceived book, whether monographic or topical survey, is of so much greater value to the appreciation of an artist or photographer.

And that's why I'm eager to see more good books presenting the reportedly vast undiscovered regions of Vivian Maier's lens work. Prints? Bah. She was not a printer.

A Chicago acquaintance of mine was involved in the original discovery of the Maier work, and he's in possession of what he describes as "thousands of her original photographs, negatives, slides and home movies," none of which have yet seen the light of day.

I'm guessing that there's a treasure trove of lawsuit money yet to be made from Maier, but what do I know?

The prints won't be signed by her. Bummer.

"And, i agree with Mr. Roche. I thought your wording suggested the purchaser could choose three prints, not one OF three."

Sorry about the ambiguity! Fixed now.

Mike the Ed.

There are three major archives - not just two - of the work of Vivian Maier.

Actually, looking back on this thread, my mention of lawsuit money was just flip and nonsensical. There's nothing in any of this that suggests such a thing. I guess I was just impressed with how complicated things get when three people, maybe more, own large pieces of a popular body of work.

"I guess I was just impressed with how complicated things get when three people, maybe more, own large pieces of a popular body of work."

Remember ths the next time you visit an exhibition at an art museum. Assembling bodies of work for a show is a major feat for curators.

The comment about Vivian "copying" the styles of previous photographers is specious, at best. What do we know of what she knew of Doiseau and others.

I agree with the comment (paraphrased) "judge her on her own work -- without comparing to others."

One of the key traits of any great photographer--portrait, street, or others--is the ability to gain the trust and confidence of the subjects; this, Vivian clearly did.

Some (NY, not named) are bullies and simply shock their subjects into submission. The artist captures the untainted individual.

The nice thing is that there are obviously many more of her photos that we are yet to see. Perhaps even some of the reluctant "experts*" as in the Youtube video might even have a chance to reflect on what they think of her without having seen much of what she did.

I enjoyed the first book, even though many did not like the toning. I enjoyed the second even more because it gave us some of the details of her life. Even though overall I liked the photos in the first best, learning about her life made her photos all the more interesting/intriguing to me. Apparently, we can look forward to learning much more.

By the way, the second part to the video, Searching for Vivian Maier, is here: http://bit.ly/Rorkll

*Back in college in an economics class, the professer warned us to "never trust the experts." At the time, I didn't really understand what he meant, but as I matured, I found that his advice was very good.

So, is Ron also locked into the gallery system?

Interesting that the 'knowledgeable' Mr. Daiter in the video above, who was basically saying that Ms. Maier was, in effect, mimicking other, more famous and 'better' photographers seems to have his timelines somewhat askew. Seems Ms. Maier already had a good portion of her body of work already 'completed' by the time that folks like Friedlander and Arbus got rolling.

Have to wonder when these 'established' photo figures like Mr. Westerbeck and the aforementioned purposely try to downgrade someone who does not come in through the 'official' channels.

Mike: are you going to put up the next Chicago Tonight video for those of us elsewhere? What is the mysterious event that made her the photographer she became?

yours ever, an Admirer in England

The "Chicago Tonight" series also had a part-three, with a little more insight into how the step up to a Rolleiflex may have occurred...


When I go to the link for the third video, I get a balck screen but nothing is loading.

If anyone is interested in reading firsthand how John Maloof began his excavation, together with conspiracy theories, and real-time commentary, it can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/onthestreet/discuss/72157622552378986/?search=maier

Pamela Bannos' insights are interesting; undoubtedly she's on to something with her connection of Meier to the MoMa show. I'm looking forward to hearing more as she continues her work. Perhaps she would care to comment about Meier's work in the context of Helen Levitt, who was almost a contemporary working in New York, but who was connected to the photo world as Meier was not.

The Vivian Maier phenomenon is so interesting because it both unmasks the art canon for the myth that it is and yet is also bound to become part of it as it is assimilated. The fact is that our history is random and arbitrary, not only a perspective on reality, but a very narrow one.

One shouldn't take the art market/canon too seriously because it subsists on a diet of greed and fear. There are profane reasons why someone defends or advocates for an artist - one may be over-leveraged financially, or emotionally. In other words, the art myth, like all myths, is only human.

Art is an experience, and like all experiences it is transient. There are a few levels of this at play in Maier's photography. With any luck, the forces that brought her work to us in the first place will not also destroy this essential quality too quickly - the feeling of having a fresh experience, of the world being scrubbed free of habituation and familiarity. Within this experience, among other things, we realize that the world we thought we knew all too well we really don't know or understand at all. It won't last, but at least we have it for now.

This is such a wonderful tale. Simply fascinating. I suspect that Vivian Maier will someday be considered to be among the very best.

It's too bad you weren't able to work something out with the owners of the negatives.

Nicely said David.

I can't wait for the book, and I hope the show travels (love to see the acutal prints). To think we all came so unbelievably close to never knowing her name, never seeing an entire lifetime's body of work that defines her as a major talent of her time- a true American art icon!Her work helps define the power of what photography does best- preserving an optically accurate representation of our collective past, the acutal photons that bounced of their very bodies 50+ years ago, frozen in the emulsion of time.

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