The London Street Photography Festival (LSPF) kicked off in style last night with an exhibition of Vivian Maier: A Life Uncovered in the spectacular German Gymnasium in Kings Cross.
Brett Jefferson Stott, the LSPF festival Director, reflected on the rising trend of Street Photography and how it is a ‘truly invaluable record of society’. A statement mirrored in the surrounding work of Vivian Maier whose photographs, discovered and painstakingly edited by John Maloof, have provided insight on life and times of Chicago from the 1950’s. Maier was a nanny in Chicago who took over 100,000 images in her spare time who is now being posthumously recognised as one of the most prolific and talented street photographers of the 21st Century.
Primarily working with black and white stills, she also shot 8mm clips but none were quite as powerful and resonant as that of her stills. Interestingly, she focussed her film cameras on people and portraiture, whilst her moving image work was primarily of Chicago’s architecture and her journey through the city.
Stott described the Street Photography genre as being the “life, truth and beating pulse of the photography world” and with everybody in the German Gymnasium brandishing their iPhones, 35mm and digital cameras, you could really sense the truth in his words.