Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Vivian Maier

This past Wednesday I decided to check out the Vivian Maier exhibit at MK Gallery. 

The gallery closes at 6pm and I was cutting it close that day.  For anyone who hasn't been to the gallery (it was my first time), beware of that traffic on La Brea.  Also, it was hard to find.  I made a few u-turns until I finally saw an image in the window.  I curse mapquest directions!  

I parked behind some pretty, Hollywood apartments and preceded to make my way to the gallery.  I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the golden hour earlier and snapped a few photos.  I make it a point now to keep my camera in the car, just in case. 

I had 15 minutes to spare and I already felt inspired, so it was a really good 15 minutes. 

Reminds me of this Robert Frank image. 

Has anyone seen The Orphanage?! Creepy/cute for sure. 

My favorites.  All these images plus more on her website.  

I had mixed feelings about the show.  I really loved her self portraits and thought they were fascinating.  

I thought that she had a great eye for detail, and I could see that she liked to experiment.  I particularly love the one where you see her smiling. She's clearly been caught in the act of voyeurism and enjoys it.  I get nervous when taking portraits, so I was really fond of that and maybe felt like I knew a little more about this woman. 

She never got to see this success in her life.  She died and then her work was discovered, and she could have shown her collection to someone, but chose not to.  So I wonder if this lady was still alive, would we have seen any of these?  That's where the mixed feelings set in.  I don't know if its exploitation, but you have to wonder if part of the allure is because this artist is no longer with us? I mean, these images were going for 2,000 dollars (minimum) and maybe I'm just jaded because I've seen the Robert Frank, and the Walker Evans stills (his subway portraits are some of the best ever) and admired Arbus and Eggleston.  I wanted to be like them, except I don't have a drinking problem and I'm not entirely depressed. I don't know. All I do know is that I love to look at things.  

It was nice to look at some art again.

Curious about your thoughts.  Let's have a discussion. 

your friend,



  1. Great post Ava! I love her stuff! <3

  2. I think she made some really interesting and beautiful images. Death and time seem to play a large role in the worth of art. I am curious where the proceeds of the images go? Partial to the gallery, to the Maloof Collection and ?

    I especially like the first and last images.

    1. Hi Stef!

      Not sure where the proceeds went. Most likely a portion went to the gallery, and then???? It doesn't look like she had a family, otherwise we would hear about it.

      Yes, death plays a huge role in worth. This is the way it has always been. I remember Jeaux telling me how much Van Gogh made from his paintings. Only 80 dollars. Insane right?



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