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Masters of street photography – Vivian Dorothea Maier

Written and researched by Carlo Traina

Vivian Dorothea Maier

(New York 01.02.1926 – 21.04. 2009)

Along the road you can meet the whole of humanity, without recognizing or noticing it. Everything that escapes from the addicted and distracted everyday look, but not from the look and lens of the street-photographers, more often than not even more anonymous than their own subject.


It is quite curious that today we know Vivian Maier only thanks to an estate agent from Illinois , John Mallof that – an amateur photographer himself, looking for photographic material for the preparation of a book about the Chicago neighbourhoods – in 2007 bought a stock of old negatives (about 40.000), sold at an auction together with the furniture of an old lady who was into financial troubles. That old lady was Vivian Maier, that for her whole life had been shooting as a mere pastime over 100.000 photos (with about 15.000 negatives never developed) kept jealously hidden from the eyes of others. Her images – taken mainly in New York and Chicago – show the average Americans on the road and streets of shopping, with a sad look in their eyes, women wearing hats, the demolition of historical monuments in the name of development, some of the most beloved places in Chicago, the invisible lives of various groups of people, the indigents.

Precisely because of her reserve, and thanks to this desire to photograph exclusively for herself, the biography of Vivian is not as rich in details and episodes as that of other Masters of Photography.

Undated, New York

1950s, Chicago, IL

September 13, 1953, Empire State Building, New York, NY

May 10, 1953, New York, NY

Born on the first of February 1926 in New York, from France mother and Austrian father, she lived her first years in France, but she come back to the United States in the 50′ and she lived for some years in New York acting as a saleswoman in a candy store. Since the forties she moved to Chicago. At the end of the forties she began shooting with a modest Kodak Brownie Box 6×9, an amateurish camera with a single shutter speed , no focus control and no control over aperture.

A woman that did not like to talk, that wore male clothes and shoes, great hats and had always the camera hanging from her neck; that is how the salesmen of CHICAGO CENTRAL CAMERA, an historical shop, described her.

On 1952 Vivian finally bought a Rolleiflex 6×6 and her shooting style started to develop. Her talent is similar to the one of the most important figures of the American Street Photography, photographers like Lisette Model , Helen Levitt, Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand.
Her photographs betray an affinity towards the poor, probably due to the emotional relationship that Vivian feels towards those who were forced to struggle to get by. To survive in fact Vivian worked as a nanny at some families, especially for the three children of a rich family, who then saved her in old age, when – extremely poor – they would take care of her as a second mother, paying her the rent of an apartment, among other things.

At the end of the ’50 she decided to pass to color photography, using 35 mm films, Kodak Ektachrome and several models of Rolleiflex (3.5 T , 3.5 F, 2.8c , Automat) but also a Leica IIIc, a Ihagee Exacta , a Zeiss Contarex and several other reflex cameras.

1954, New York, NY

August 12, 1954, New York, NY

The use of colour made alive what was not clearly visible in her work before and her shots would become more abstract, as the passing of time. The people slowly crawled out of her photos and were substituted by objects , like newspapers and graffiti.

Vivian Maier died in 2008 , but thanks to the work of Maloof her photos are still alive and kicking on Flickr  and on the website , che Maloof did open to make known to fans and critics the life and the shots of the “nanny-photographer”, and, most important thing to answer to two important questions still open : “Who was Vivian Maier and what there is behind her incredible vision?”

East 108th Street. September 28, 1959, New York, NY

1955, New York, NY


Written and researched by Roberta Pastore


Born in Delhi in 1973 , i spent my childhood under the guidance of my father & my father’s elder brother , they are the biggest source of inspiration for me , they both taught me what i possibly couldn’t learn from any school or college . One being a applied artist & the other a noted sculptor so I got the best of both the worlds ,did graduation from prestigious Delhi college of Arts in applied arts & specialization in photography .


When did you start a passion for the photography?

I started photography at a very early age and at that anything to everything was my subject , from Flora to fauna , humans to animals , I would shoot anything that caught my attention.

What was your first camera?

My first camera was Minolta x-700

What is photography to you? And what should not be instead?

To me photography is a journey & I travel everyday , I am learning & unlearning everyday ,I thrive to improve everyday . Life in General which is so unexpected i try to be as honest through my lens as I can .I try to synthesize between human elements & the environment & my main focus is how to make ordinary moments look extraordinary .I think everyone of us should get involved with photography coz it gives more than one can ever imagine .

DSC_6362Which masters of photography inspires you?

I love to see works of lot of photographers (famous & not so famous) over & over again but I feel ,I should be out shooting instead of watching these pics , so I have my favorites but only STREETS inspire me & not the photographers .

What is the photo that struck you the most of a great photographer of the story?

I love Bresson’s work a lot , his image -Sunday on the banks of river Marne really fascinates me .

 What is your favorite technique?

One fixed focal length & f11

photo-2 DSCF8372 DSCF1189 DSC_6920Why do street photography?

Generally street photography gets confused with photojournalism , in a way they both are documentary photography but to my own knowledge I feel it must tell a story ,story has to be told even if it’s meaning is hidden, it’s about how people are , it should be SIMPLE .

 What is your best shot and what does it represent for you?

I am still struggling to get a shot that I can fall in love with .

2 1What is your relationship with the street and the people who are in your shots?

to be honest , I feel like a pickpocketer , my relation with them is often very superficial or non existent , I see a subject, take a picture , say thank you & move on, but then while doing a story I spend lot of time in that area , get to know them & make them comfortable of my presence.


© Cesare Salvadeo 06/03/14 (photo of the week)

“It’s about reacting to what you see, without preconceptions. You can find pictures from photographs everywhere, simply observe things their arrangement, interested in everything around us and take care of humanity and the human comedy. “In this quote by Eliott Erwitt find enclosed the ironic style of shooting Cesare Salvadeo in which a group of men is intention in taking a picture, while a woman with an eye to making distracted and elsewhere, holds one of the photographers.
The beauty of this is then the subject being photographed by photographers who do not see, in the multitude of photographers, and the woman ignored and distracted. In this photo, “our” photographer (a little ‘says Erwitt) has ignored the subject that sparked the other photographers and addressed them.


The sunflowers – Tazio Secchiaroli. USSR 1969 Pictures of the set and travel


Milan, 6 March | April 4, 2014
Opening March 5, 2014 19:00


From the largest archive of the personal photographer of Sophia Loren have selected the most significant images taken during your stay in the USSR for filming the movie “The Sunflowers” by Vittorio De Sica. A production Italo-Franco-Soviet actors Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni and Lyudmila Russian star Sevaljeva directed by Vittorio De Sica, which allows the photographer great freedom of movement on the set and especially in the Soviet world, then almost inaccessible.

The curiosity of Tazio Secchiaroli, on his third visit to behind the Iron Curtain, leads him to seek the best times to photograph not only the set and backstage, but the reality is that around.

Accomplices in his reportage Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, which lend themselves to being photographed as illustrious tourists in the most famous places in Moscow: the Kremlin, the Pushkin Museum, Red Square, and so forth.

This allows Tazio Secchiaroli shots to include in its real life flowing in the city streets picking the curious eyes of Muscovites, not accustomed to photographers and movie stars for a walk in Moscow, and we linger now, after more than 40 years, on a world and a society gone. A charm that remains unaltered that induces to still admire these shots with curiosity and fun.

On show approximately 50 photographs in color and black and white made ​​in the USSR in the summer of 1969.

Tazio Secchiaroli (Rome 1925-1998) is one of the most famous Italian photographers. Growing up as a photoreporter, became famous in the days of the “Dolce vita” for his photographs of celebrities  on the Via Veneto in 1960 will be in cinema photographer for the most important productions in the golden years of Cinecittà. Photographer special for Federico Fellini’s personal photographer and Sophia Loren to the end of the 80s. His archive is a cross-section of more than 20 years of cinema.

Exhibit design arch. Nazario Petrucci
We thank David Secchiaroli

Italian Association of Russia
Via Cadore 16, 20135 Milan
Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 21:00 | Saturday 10:00 to 12:00



T. 02 8056122


Dal grande archivio del fotografo personale di Sophia Loren sono state selezionate le immagini più significative scattate durante il soggiorno in URSS per le riprese del film “I Girasoli” di Vittorio De Sica. Una produzione italo-franco-sovietica, protagonisti Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni e la star russa Ljudmila Sevaljeva diretti da Vittorio De Sica, che permette al fotografo una grande libertà di movimento sul set e soprattutto nel mondo sovietico, all’epoca quasi inaccessibile.

La curiosità di Tazio Secchiaroli, alla sua terza visita oltrecortina, lo porta a cercare i momenti migliori per fotografare non solo il set e il backstage, ma la realtà che gli è intorno.

Complici nel suo reportage Sophia Loren e Marcello Mastroianni, che si prestano ad essere fotografati come illustri turisti nei luoghi più noti di Mosca: il Cremlino, il Museo Pushkin, la Piazza Rossa e via elencando.

Questo permette a Tazio Secchiaroli di includere nelle sue inquadrature la vita reale che scorre nelle vie della città cogliendo gli sguardi curiosi dei moscoviti, non abituati a fotografi e stelle del cinema a spasso per Mosca, e a noi di soffermarci ora, a distanza di oltre 40 anni, su un mondo e una società scomparsi. Un fascino che rimane inalterato che induce ancora oggi ad ammirare questi scatti con curiosità e divertimento.

In mostra circa 50 fotografie in bianco e nero e a colori realizzate in URSS nell’estate del 1969.

Tazio Secchiaroli (Roma 1925-1998), è tra i più famosi fotografi italiani. Cresciuto come fotoreporter, diventato celebre ai tempi della dolce vita per le sue fotografie d’assalto ai divi in via Veneto, dal 1960 sarà fotografo di cinema per le produzioni più importanti negli anni d’oro di Cinecittà. Fotografo di special per Federico Fellini e fotografo personale di Sophia Loren fino alla fine degli anni ’80. Il suo archivio è uno spaccato di oltre 20 anni di cinema.

Progetto di allestimento arch. Nazario Petrucci
Si ringrazia David Secchiaroli

Associazione Italia Russia
Via Cadore 16 Milano 20135
Orari: dal lunedì al venerdì 10.00 – 21.00 | Sabato 10.00 – 12.00



T. 02 8056122


Written and researched by Amos Farnitano

Chulsu Kim

Born in Japan, raised in Japan, but Korean.Think habitually, and intended to express themselves from the photograph. I have photographed to take care of intuition and sensitivity. Order to pursue real, I will continue to take the street.


 When did you start a passion for the photography?                               The passion for the photography is begun when I bought the  iPhone  three years ago.

What was your first camera?                                                                                         My first camera is iPhone

What is photography to you? And what should not be instead?           For me is means to express themselves.


Which masters of photography inspires you?                                                   All IG friends ( Instagram Comunity)

What is your favorite technique?                                                                          5- Is a freeshot

 Why do street photography?                                                                                    The street photography because you are looking for real at all         times


What is your best shot and what does it represent for you?                Represent for me sensitivity and very natural posture

What is your relationship with the street and the people who are in your shots?                                                                                                                          The relationship with the street and the people who are in my shots is that they are the sound of each other sensitivity