Born French-Austrian, photographer Vivian Maier spent most of her life in France and New York. The street photographer remained buried by the recesses of history until a fateful day in 2009 when her photographs were found.
Many say that Maier's first contact in the photography world was Jeanne Bertrand, a portrait photographer who lived with Maier's family in New York for some time. In the 1940's, she started using the Kodak Brownie Box to record the streets of France, then returned to New York to work as a nanny for a Southampton-based family. She then started using the Rolleiflex and moved to Chicago, where in her flat she set up here own darkroom. Photography was a hobby in her career as a nanny.
It was in the Chicago streets where Maier truly shone, though her photography would never experience success and recognition until many years later. A young realtor named John Maloof managed to deal with Maier's belongings when the warehouse company began to auction her contents after her death in 2009. Maloof uploaded the photographs all over social media, then becoming a viral phenomenon, posthumously recognizing her among stellar street shooters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus.
Catch the upcoming show Vivian Maier at the WestLicht Gallery in Vienna, opening on May 29 and running through August 19.
Images are from the press kit.