Vivian Maier is probably the most famous street photographer of this century ,she’s the many whose photos were found in an old dusty and moldy attic .
Its vast quantity of negatives was discovered in 2007, thanks to the tenacity of John Maloof, also American, the young son of a second-hand dealer. In 2007 the boy, wanting to do a research on the city of Chicago and having little iconographic material available, decided to buy in bulk for 380 dollars, at an auction, the contents of a box full of the most disparate objects, expropriated by law from a woman who had stopped paying rent. Sorting through the various odds and ends (hats, clothes, receipts, and even unpaid tax refund checks), Maloof found a case containing hundreds of negatives and rolls still to be developed.
After printing some photos, Maloof posted them on Flickr, gaining enthusiastic and viral interest and encouragement from the community to further his research. Therefore he investigated the woman who had taken those photographs: he learned that Vivian had no family and had worked all her life as a nanny, especially in the city of Chicago; during her free days and holidays she used to take pictures of everyday life in cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Most of his photos are ante litteram “street photos” and therefore Maier can be considered a forerunner of this photographic genre. In addition, Maier took many self-portraits, characterized by the fact that he never looked directly at the lens, often using mirrors or shop windows as reflective surfaces.
Her life can be compared to that of the American poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote her reflections and poems without ever publishing them and, indeed, at times, hiding them in unexpected places, where they were found only after her death. From the moment of his discovery, Maloof has carried out a great activity of disseminating his photographic work, organizing traveling exhibitions around the world. Vivian Maier used a Rolleiflex camera and a Leica IIIc camera to take her images. Hes life and work have been the subject of books and documentaries.
Her life and her work as a nanny allow her to travel and works while bring her passion for photography to the maximum of its potential and although her life is so fascinating to me I really can’t do no justice by sitting here and writing a few line about her so I highly recommend you check out this documentary about her life which is so well made . I don’t know if it shines trough my love for her but she’s definitely my main Inso and the one who brought my love for photography to another level.
Josef Koudelka is a Czechoslovakian photographer born in 1938 and we don’t know much about his life but I love his works for its social investment and potential.
Early experiences significantly influenced his subsequent photographic work, and the emphasis he placed on social and cultural rituals and death. Soon in his career he came to a deeper and more personal photographic study of the Gypsies of Slovakia and, later, of Romania. The results of these works were exhibited in Prague in 1967. Throughout his career, Koudelka has been praised for his ability to capture the presence of the human spirit against the backdrop of melancholy landscapes. Desolation, abandonment, departure, despair and alienation are constant themes in his work. His subjects sometimes seem to come out of a fairytale world. However, someone reads a hope in his work: the persistence of man’s activity, despite his fragility. His most recent works focus his interest on the empty landscape of the presence of man.
Susan Meiselas is an American photographer ,born in 1948 in Baltimore she went to Sarah Lawrence College and then studied visual arts at Harvard. Her education is definitely on point and her works are a reflection of her talent and her social interests. Her photos are a true documentary and witness of particularly difficult time. For example her book Nicaragua ,written between 1978 and 1979 in which she documented the Sandinista revolution (http://a Rivoluzione sandinista in Nicaragua ).
The interest in social and political issues is the center of the American photographer’s reportage work and in 1983 she wrote Chile from within where she documented the Pinochet’s scheme. Another important work of her is about Kurdistan ,written in 1991 “Kurdistan: in the Shadow of History” where she tell the curdi’s history. The most fascinating aspect of there work is obviously to me the really important social aspect ,the social commitment of her works is something you are immediately overwhelmed by. The first photo I saw of her and the one that made me immediately fell in love with her work is one fro the Carnivals series ,where she ,in her early ages ,followed the lines and the works of some strippers in South Carolina and the choose of the light ,the lens and the compositions of these photos is a truly testament of how big and talented she was and is.
Dennis stock was born in New York in 1928 and after served the American army and discharged it he stated his apprenticeship to a photographer in the city.
From 1957 until the early 1960s, Stock aimed his lens at jazz musicians, photographing such people as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sidney Bechet, Gene Krupa and Duke Ellington or Miles Davis ( see for example, Milestones Cover Photo). With this series of photographs he published the book Jazz Street. In 1962, he received the first prize at the International Photo Competition . In 1968, Stock left Magnum to start his own film company, Visual Objectives Inc., and made several documentaries, but he returned to the agency a year later, as vice president for new media and film. In the mid-1970s, he traveled to Japan and also produced numerous features series, such as photographs of contrasting regions, like Hawaii .In the 1970s and 1980s he focused on color photography of nature and landscape, and returned to his urban roots in the 1990s focusing on architecture and modernism.
Of course these were just a. few of my favorites but since they all have had a huge impact in the way I photograph and the way I see things and I look at things ,I though about starting with them . Let me know as always which one are your favorites and if you know these amazing artists.
I will see you soon folks!