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Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife Hardcover – Illustrated, October 10, 2017
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"Stories--like snapshots--are shaped by people, and for particular purposes. There's always an angle. A new biography, Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife, by Pamela Bannos, strives to rescue Maier all over again, this time from the men who promulgated the Maier myth and profited off her work. . . . Almost point by point, Bannos refutes how Maier has been marketed. . . . The achievement of Bannos's intelligent, irritable self-reflexive study is in its restraint. She unseats the ghost and restores to us the woman--but in her own words and images, and without psychologizing. It's a portrait as direct as any of Maier's, and what a distinct pleasure it is to meet her gaze again."
About the Author
- Publisher : University of Chicago Press; Illustrated edition (October 10, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 022647075X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0226470757
- Item Weight : 1.51 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #271,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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I had a problem with so few Vivian Maier photographs being included. Unless you are very familiar with her work you may wonder what the fuss has been about. DESCRIBING photos, as Ms. Bannos does, is not the same as seeing them. This she tries to do way to often. After a while it feels like filler. I did like the way Vivian's life and the ongoing story of what happened to her work was woven together.
As far as whether Maloof, Goldstein, et al are profiting by exposing her (pun almost intended), I have a bigger problem with cropping and printing the images. So much can be done in the darkroom to "improve" or change the focus of a photograph entirely. It would be impossible to know how Vivian saw the photograph when she took the picture. The fact that she never developed thousands of them leads me to think that the picture itself was less important than being out in the world the best way she could, hiding behind her "street photographer" persona.
Maier belongs to a class of "artists" who do "outsider art." If you're fascinated by Maier, I encourage you to read up on other outsider artists like the Philadelphia Wireman, Henry Darger (who wrote a 15,000 page, illustrated novel), or Mark Hogancamp (whose work, I fear, will soon be trivialized in an upcoming movie.) All these people made brilliant art for themselves and through sheer happenstance, the wider world discovered them.
Top reviews from other countries
The author, Pamela Bannos, has developed a much better understanding of Maier, her apparent motivations and development pathway. Bannos has clarified the current status of the other owners of her legacy. One of these, John Maloof clearly played a very early active role in Maiers elevation and recognition of her ability to capture some great images of society with an iconic style. However, apparently Maloof was not always straight forward with the clarification of myth and reality - he was not willing to collaborate with Bannos.
Sadly, as other reviewers noted, there are not too many of Maier's images in the book. I enjoyed the book & applaud Bannos and would recommend it to those who have an interest in Vivian Maier and her work.
My only small quibble would be that it would've been nice to see some Vivian Maier's images that Bannos describes throughout the book, but perhaps she did not have access to these images (and there are already plenty of photo books of Maier's work where these photographs could possibly be found, I suppose).
I highly recommend this book to Vivian Maier fans as well as anyone interested in the sociological aspect of the art world.
Das Buch selbst ist tatsächlich mit Bindfäden in soliden Hartkarton gebunden.
Es handelt sich bei dieser Ausgabe also quasi um die Vivian Maier Bibel in Hochqualität.