01.30.12 Personal

Out + About : Vivian Maier Exhibition

heard about Vivian Maier and--at the risk of being totally dramatic--I fell in love. You can find out more of her story here, but the Cliff Notes version is this: a guy stumbles into a pile of photograph negatives and discovers a treasure of work by an unknown artist...thousands of hours, scans, and prints later, Vivian Maier was being heralded as a remarkable--yet hidden--street photographer.

I was so moved by this story and I wanted to be a part of it, wanted to give a voice to Vivian. I donated money to her Kickstarter project and I've been following her story via the web.

On Christmas morning, JD handed me a gift wrapped in gold bow. I unwrapped The Vivian Maier book. And then I cried.

Every so often I open the book and stare at black and white images that move me, that make me feel something, so you could just imagine my excitement when JD and I made our way to the Merry Karnowsky Gallery for the Vivan Maier - A Life Discovered exhibit. As we made our way through Los Angeles, I looked out the window and felt lucky. Lucky to do what I love and, much like Vivian herself, see the world from behind the shadow of a camera.

En route to the gallery, JD stopped me from photographing him...he prefers to be behind the lens. I definitely prefer to be behind the lens as well, but when we stumbled on this mid century modern sofa, I begged JD for it. I even resorted to the pleasepleasepleaseI'lldoanything mantra that worked well with my parents as a kid, but not so well with him...

I felt weird taking pictures of pictures, but I didn't want to forget a single thing. To see more of Vivian Maier's work, you can check out her website, but I'd definitely suggest checking out the's breathtaking. Really.

Even though I didn't get the sofa, we did enjoy shopping on Melrose Avenue and I even made a picture to remember the memory of it all.

Happy Monday!
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Paul - Yep - I want that sofa now too.  02.20.12 - 9:08am
Mireya - What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing it.  02.05.12 - 9:24am
Stacie Frazier - Thank you for this Jasmine! I'm completely fascinated and inspired by Vivian's story.  02.03.12 - 8:52am
Shannon Rosan - That sofa...AH.MAZE.ING... Love Vivian and her story.  02.02.12 - 9:21pm
Terra - I love Vivian Maier. I could stare at her work all day. How could one woman's brilliance go for so long unknown to the world?   02.01.12 - 3:48pm
Stacey - Total City Girl - Just checked the VM webste and so bummed I missed the exhibition here in NY! Glad you got to see it. :)  01.31.12 - 8:11pm
Rose - Just call me a dork! How did I miss her exhibit!! I LOVE Vivian's work too! I discovered her sometime last year. I may have to splurge on her book!   01.31.12 - 6:47pm
Babu - Hi Jasmine, I have a PhD in history and work with things from the past all day. But Vivian Maiers story made my cry. Thousands of film rolls, nobody saw what she had photographed. Not even she herself. And now her art ist displayed in the museums... finally.   01.31.12 - 2:41pm
Corey - So fun!  01.31.12 - 11:56am
Mindy Metivier - Love this story!!! Amazing that her work has never been seen before. She has beautiful and moving makes me wonder why she never showed her work to it because she was that private of a person or maybe she was like so many of us and thought that her work wasn't "good enough" therefore she hid it. So many questions!!! Thanks for sharing her with us Jasmine!!! :)  01.31.12 - 11:43am
Antonia Chick - Thanks for this post Jasmine - Vivian's pictures are really beautiful - I'll definitely be buying the book!  01.31.12 - 11:16am
Anthony Quesada - I have no idea what you are saying Jasmine. Screw the couch, I want that dinosaur! hahaha. Great post:)  01.31.12 - 8:58am
Aisha Mujib Khan - Hi Jasmine, I was wondering if you noticed the same issues in your copy of the book as detailed in these reviews from Amazon. I plan on buying the book anyway, but was curious and don't know anyone else who has the book yet. Thanks!  01.31.12 - 8:32am
Falcon - Thanks for sharing, Jasmine! I also noticed your photos have a lot of grain in them but I really dig the look :)   01.31.12 - 3:38am
AlexanderKiselev - JD is really cute)) Love you guys)  01.31.12 - 2:10am
Continuum Photography - We love Vivian Maier!  01.31.12 - 12:13am
Bianca Fiji - Never heard of her, watched the video you linked, googled the official site, went to Amazon and checked out with her book on the way to Fiji!!! :)   01.30.12 - 10:43pm
Family Photographers Denver - Really she is a phenomenal artist.I m in love with all the photographs captured by her..This Collection of pics is really awesome.  01.30.12 - 10:06pm
Yuliya Callahan - She is very good  01.30.12 - 7:59pm
ceresa - thank you for sharing this amazing story.... amazing art!!  01.30.12 - 7:08pm
lmend - oooh! i too fell in love with the story, and received the book as a holiday gift. jealous you were able to attend the exhibit -- and happy for you at the same time.   01.30.12 - 2:57pm
Stacey - Completely captivating. Thank you so much for sharing!  01.30.12 - 1:00pm
Katelyn James - gosh she was a phenomenal artist!!! Loved seeing her work!! thanks for posting:)  01.30.12 - 11:15am
Tami Inoue - What a fun day and amazing photographer!! I'm in love with that couch too!  01.30.12 - 10:30am
Sonal - I feel in love with Ms. Maier too! When I first heard about her, I couldn't believe that 1) she had taken *so many* moving, significant, and important photos, and 2) not only had other people not seen her photos, but *she herself* hadn't seen most of her own photos... I often wonder if she had any inkling of her enormous talent...? PS - That sofa *is* awesome; at least you have a fabulous picture. :)  01.30.12 - 9:55am
Dominique - I went to this exhibit in Chicago and just fell in love with her work. Thanks for the head's up on the book, I'm all over ordering that!  01.30.12 - 9:50am
kim butler - i would have begged for that couch too! love the color!  01.30.12 - 9:46am
Kyle Bromley - I love Vivian! Her work is breath taking. It saddens me that she never lived to see her work next to the masters. Goes to show your snapshots can be photographic gold!  01.30.12 - 9:31am
Jillian - I first heard about Vivian Maier on a KCRW morning show. It was one of those times I had to sit in my car for 20 minutes to finish listening to her story thus making me late for my appointment. Such an amazing discovery.  01.30.12 - 9:14am
Alicia - Wow, I just checked out her website, those images are AMAZING! And she didn't even know what she had taken? That's incredible. The couch picture of you is lovely, by the way :)  01.30.12 - 8:28am
Kristi Chappell - Amazing story....I ran across this a few months ago. She was truly a born artist. Her images reminded me of some you would see in Time Life. Oh, for the ya'll or y'all southern slang issue, it is y'all! I've always seen it as ya'll so by nature spelled it that way. I thought of you when my IPhone corrected my southern ways! Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta!  01.30.12 - 8:27am
Victoria Anne Photographt - Fun! LOVE the one of you sitting on the couch.   01.30.12 - 8:25am
Sarah - I absolutely fell in love with Vivian Maier the first time I heard about her story and saw some of her work. When I found out they were putting on a small exhibition in London, I knew I just had to go. Sadly, I had no one to go with but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I jumped on the train and off I went. Her work is absolutely amazing and I aspire to be even as half as good as her. I am so jealous you have her book! My fiancĂ© tried his hardest to get the book for me for Christmas but it is out of print here in the UK, currently. I'll keep trying though because I want to feel the way I felt that day in London when I saw her work up close for the first time.   01.30.12 - 8:23am
Tara - Men.. they can be so difficult sometimes! :)  01.30.12 - 8:22am
Kandise - So good!  01.30.12 - 8:19am
Allison - Ah! I'm so jealous, I also fell in love with her and the story behind her. I'm an Ohio girl traveling to Chicago for the Fix WS and had planned on seeing her exhibit while I was there... come to find out its a traveling exhibit and not there while I'm in town! Boo!   01.30.12 - 8:15am
naomi chokr - wow! thank you so much for introducing us to Viviene Maier. Her work is breathtaking and is making me all choked up.   01.30.12 - 8:12am
Yuliana - Ya'll are just too cute!!  01.30.12 - 8:08am
Gail - Oh so FUN! Jealie that you got to take in that wonderful exhibit! And must get Vivian's book for the latest addition to the 'ol coffee table. BTW, what shop is that on Melrose? BECAUSE I WANT TO GO THERE TOO!! :)   01.30.12 - 8:06am
teri - her self portrait gallery is brilliant! thanks for making my monday by sharing her story. so cool..  01.30.12 - 7:57am
Life with Kaishon - I love her story too. Absolutely love. : ) She had a remarkable life. I wonder what her blog would have been know if there had been blogs way back then.  01.30.12 - 7:51am
Autumn Lee - I have yet to go to a photo exhibit...I must add it to my list of things to do someday LOL!! That couch btw was totally rockin'  01.30.12 - 7:50am
Katie - Vivian Maier's story is incredible and so inspiring. The fact that she photographed thousands of images of everyday life and stored them away in boxes only to be discovered after she has passed adds so much mystery to this woman's unassuming life. What a gift she has given to us through these pictures! How exciting that you were able to go to the exhibit and take it all in!  01.30.12 - 7:43am
Katie - Vivian Maier's story is incredible and so inspiring. The fact that she photographed thousands of images of everyday life and stored them away in boxes only to be discovered after she has passed adds so much mystery to this woman's unassuming life. What a gift she has given to us through these pictures! How exciting that you were able to go to the exhibit and take it all in!  01.30.12 - 7:43am
Gabby / En Route Photography - That Hollywood sign behind the sofa is just beyond words!!! I wish I had a gigantic loft to put it in! ;D   01.30.12 - 7:39am
The New Diplomat's Wife - looooooooove her! so excited you got to see the exhibit - hopefully it will come to DC!  01.30.12 - 7:37am
dana - so AWESOME!!! :)  01.30.12 - 7:28am
Stacy - that sofa is WAY TOO COOL!  01.30.12 - 7:21am
W. Lotus - I like Vivian Maier's work and story. Sometimes I wonder what will become of the hundreds of negatives (and thousands of digital negatives) I have amassed as I've evolved as a fine art photographer. I like to think that in addition to the joy they bring people when I share them now, they will bring joy for generations to come. As a professional photographer, do you enjoy making art for art's sake, or do you mostly enjoy making photos as a business?  01.30.12 - 7:05am
Liz - How weird - I just read a post about her on the NY Times Lens blog a couple of weeks ago, along with a series of images from that exhibit. That's so great that you were able to go!  01.30.12 - 7:00am