Over the past three years, the story of the late hobbyist photographer Vivian Maier has become legend. The intensely private North Shore nanny’s work, publicly shown only after she died at 83 in 2009, turned into an international sensation when several negatives were sold at auction and the press eagerly compared this previous unknown to Diane Arbus and Walker Evans.
But Maier’s artistic output (more than 100,000 photos) is not a closed book yet. Out this month, Richard Cahan and Michael Williams’s Eye to Eye (CityFiles Press, $50) presents 96 never-before-published Maier images: all street portraits in which the subjects stare directly at the camera.
They’re a sharp contrast to the more candid shots for which she’s known. “She’s been made out as a clandestine photographer who took a lot of pictures unnoticed, but here she was making contact with people,” says Cahan. “They’re glancing off her, and she’s glancing off them.”
The pictures include 55 taken in the Chicago area, ten of which are shown above.