I was mesmerized by a fascinating documentary on show on Swedish television the other day. The film was about Vivian Maier. The nanny who now, after her death, is a famous photographer. She was born in New York in 1926, when she was around 23 years old she started to take pictures with a box camera.
Vivian Maier never put her camera down, she walked the city streets of mostly New York and Chicago and photographed the city life. She continued working as a nanny but the passion in life was photography. By chance John Maloof, with an interest in local history, found a box filled with negatives in an auction house.
The photo is from 1955, New York, published on the site Vivan Maier.
The fact that she never showed her pictures was a main topic in the documentary – why wasn’t anyone allowed to see her work?
Why take photos just to store them in boxes?
In the film this was an enigma to solve. I do not see it that way – there is no enigma to solve!
Vivan Maier was obviously a person filled with great creativity. And it was the taking of pictures – the actual photography – that absorbed her.
I have felt such moments now and then, when nothing is more important than to create. To express, to form, to just try, over and over again. But I also am a person filled with doubt and the most difficult question is why. Why am I spending time on crochet? Sewing? Art? What is the point?
Sometimes the question “what is the use of art, of culture” is heard in the public discourse too. Well, the answer is that there is no use. Art is important, as art. To me, art is because man is. Art is a way of exploring, expressing, enjoying life.
That is way we have to Celebrate Creativity,
Happy New Year!