Vivian Maier – Street Photographer / exhibition @ Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin

Vivian Maier was a nanny with a passion for street photography, or, looking at her life from today’s point of view, an acclaimed street photographer who became famous only after she passed away. Born in 1926, her work was first published in 2008 and reached on-line fame in 2009, a few months after she died. More than a hundred of her works are currently shown at the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin.

Willy Brandt and Vivian MaierMost of her pictures are b/w street portraits from New York and Chicago, often shot from slightly below – this point of view was imposed by the camera she used a lot of the time. Seeing this reminded me of how we, as amateur photographers, tend to take pictures from a slightly different perspective when we use the live view screen than when looking through a view finder. Her later works also feature color photography but despite being very much in love with color photography myself, I thought that her b/w work was much stronger.

The exhibition is still running until April 12, 2015. We made the mistake of going right on the first Sunday after its opening and found it to be rather overcrowded. It is very well worth the visit however, admission is free (do bring a passport to register) and the exhibition has informative descriptions in both English and German.

And if you like, there is more of perelincolors out there:

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And matching today’s topic, we also have a bit of b/w street photography on instagram today.

8 thoughts on “Vivian Maier – Street Photographer / exhibition @ Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin

  1. Jill's Scene

    Hi there perelincolors, I’ve nominated you for the 5 day black and white photo challenge. It’s an obligation free nomination. In fact it’s more of a shout-out from me to you that celebrates the hours of travel-dreaming I’ve indulged in since I began following your blog. So picking up the challenge is of course entirely optional.
    The guidelines are straightforward. There are only two:
    1) On 5 consecutive days create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
    2) Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

    And how apt that today, after I’d already decided to shout-out to you, your post celebrates the work of a black and white photographer.
    This is the link to my fifth and final response to the challenge.


  2. lexklein

    Overall, what did you think of her work? Here in Chicago, there has been much written in recent years – some positive, some not. The naysayers seem to think she is getting attention mainly for the fact that her work went undiscovered for so long rather than for the strength of the photography itself.


    1. perelincolors

      Hm, it’s for sure true that the story adds a lot of charm to the pictures. And there are other photographers whose work stunned me more. But these were professional photographers who were exposed to praise and criticism during their lifetime, giving them the opportunity to recognize, develop and reenforce their own style. Taking that into account, I have to say that I was impressed with her work – she had a very distinct style of taking bw street portraits (the Rolleiflex ones) and a very good eye for the interesting in the mundane street life. It’s this talent that made her work interesting for me and seeing that she could have been big with earlier response to her work.

      Liked by 1 person

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