Have you heard of Vivian Maier? She was this nanny-streetphotographer from Chicago who became famous just after her death in 2009. Most of her lifetime Maier worked as a Nanny and wandered the streets of Chicago with her camera taking hundreds of pictures. More than 100,000 have been found, mainly depicting life in the streets in America in the 50s and 60s.
A real estate agent has bought the negatives as part of a storage locker at a Chicago auction house. A storage locker for which Maier apparently couldn’t pay anymore. She lived from social security and died at the age of 83. During lifetime she probably never made a penny with her photographs (she didn’t show them to anybody). Now she’s filling galleries.
It’s a weird thing with posthumous fame, I think. How life of this woman could have run differently if only.. I don’t even think primarily of the economical aspect but more of the personal. How important is appreciation, acknowledgment..reckognition in our life. What we all seek for every day. I believe there are only few who are immune to that.
And even if Maier was taking the pictures only for the pleasure of it, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been insensitive to the tribute.