Thursday, January 24, 2019
Vivian Maier: The Color Work by Colin Westerbeck and Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier: The Color Work is a coffee-table sized book of photographs (a "monograph" of Maier's color photography, according to the cover flap) that I wheedled my husband into buying me for Christmas and then wrapped, myself. I've wanted to own a book of her photography since I first read about her and saw examples of her work.
In the text to Vivian Maier: The Color Work, the author talks about what makes Maier's work, as a collection, significant in the photography world. Why are her photos special? He also mentions that her color photography is not as fine-tuned as her black-and-white work. If not for the text, in fact, you might think this is not such a hot collection. It's crucial to read the text because it makes sense of her work -- what she was trying to say through her photography, who her influences may have been, particular details that she clearly found fascinating. I got a lot out of that text.
Highly recommended - Both a wonderful collection and an informative read. Whatever you do, don't skip the text. It makes sense of the photos. One, for example, shows a white person in focus and two African Americans blurred at the edges. I would not have understood the deliberate choice Maier made by framing the photo exactly as she did, had I not read about it. Far better than any other book I read, Vivian Maier: The Color Work helped me to understand why a particular collection of photos has merit (specifically, her photos, but also generally). A pricey book but well worth the cost. I'm so glad I nudged the spouse into buying this for me.
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