New Vivian Maier Photo Book Focuses on Her "Eye to Eye" Portraits

If you've followed the saga of Vivian Maier, you're probably familiar with her revealing, black-and-white street photos that captured a slice of life in Chicago in the 1950s and '60s.

The story of Maier, who was a virtually unknown photographer until her powerful work was discovered a few years ago in a storage locker, was detailed in the 2013 documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," released on DVD last month.

Maier worked as a nanny in Chicago for 40 years during which time she shot over 100,000 street photos of the residents and cityscapes of the area. But she was also a world traveler, capturing direct, eye-to-eye portraits of colorful characters in France, Italy, Malaysia, Yemen, and Puerto Rico.

Those gripping photos have been published for the first time in Eye to Eye: Photographs by Vivian Maier from CityFiles Press.

According to promotional material for the book:

"Though she’s been cast as a quirky, shadowy figure, moving on the outskirts, these eye-to-eye portraits reveal a deeper Maier. These pictures show that she yearned to connect with people around her. That she often stopped them, talked to them, and always watched closely."

The photos are, indeed, quite different from the street images she's become known for in Vivian Maier: Street Photographer and Vivivan Maier: Out of the Shadows, but they help paint a broader portrait of this elusive and talented photographer who is just now getting the recognition she deserves.

See more of Maier's Eye to Eye photos at Mother Jones. You can order the book here.

(Caption for image at the top of this story: France, 1959 by Vivian Maier)

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