The Ladybug’s personal search for Vivian Maier

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (5)

Not too long ago I told you about one of my favorite exhibits ever, Vivian Maier’s photographs in Nuoro, Sardinia this past September (see here).

I knew that the exhibit was going to move to Milan soon and I decided to go and see it again before it ended, yesterday. I expected to find the same pieces that I saw in Nuoro but to my big surprise only part of the photographs exposed in Nuoro were in Milan at the Galleria Forma Meravigli (and for the double of the ticket price!), taken from the 50’s to the 70’s by this mysterious nanny-photographer who reached a huge success only after her death (in 2009), when her rolls where accidentally found during an auction. The exhibit structure and presentation was honestly less attractive than in Nuoro (I missed the yellow walls!) and maybe the small space and the crowd didn’t allow me to visit as peacefully as I did in Sardinia (where I was almost alone!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (1)

It was still a pleasure getting lost into this woman’s world that feels so familiar yet so full of mystery.

I am still non completely convinced about the reconstruction of her story made by John Maloof (the one who found the rolls and gave Vivian Maier an incredible success with his documentary on her life and a traveling exhibit around the world) as I still can’t believe how great she was being a simple amateur photographer. I keep being convinced that she was a real photographer and that she knew more about her art than what they want us to believe. At every picture of her I keep finding the proofs of my theory…but I guess it will keep being a theory!

For this freezing cold day in Milan I wore Diffusione Tessile coat, Whistles hat, Liu-Jo ankle boots and Miu Miu handbag. Brooch is handmade from Lora Nikolova, scarf is thrifted from Oxfam charity shop in London.

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier Milano (7)

The Ladybug discovers Vivian Maier’s world in Sardinia

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (3)

About two years ago I watched one of the most fascinating documentaries on photography I have ever seen: Finding Vivian Maier. It was the incredible story of an American nanny with the passion for street photography whose magnificent photographs were found by chance longtime after her death, revealing to the world the incredible talent of this woman.

Many people believe that Vivian Maier was not just an amateur photographer but wherever the truth is, it is impossible not to be captivated by her incredible portraits shot mainly in the streets of New York and Chicago starting from the 1950s and for over fifty years, but also in France and other places she traveled to, and the huge amounts of self-portraits.

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (5)

Her work passed totally under silence although she left an archive of more than 150,000 negatives, plus footage, recordings, notes and different kinds of papers. All these the materials were confiscated in 2007 due to unpaid rent and then discovered by the young John Maloof at an auction in Chicago.

Since then her work reached a large amount of people, touching their souls with her amazing photographs and her love for weird situations. When I saw the documentary, more than her unusual history and eccentric nature, I fell in love with the irony and weirdness of her pictures and I felt a little envious of those in the States who could see her work for real as John Maloof decided to let her work be known all over the country.

But Vivian Maier’s work arrived to Europe, more specifically to Italy and this last September I finally had the chance to see her exhibit in Nuoro at the MAN Museum. It was an incredible experience and I didn’t mind leaving the seaside for a couple of hours and driving to Nuoro to see the first Vivian Maier exhibit in Italy (it was also the occasion, on the way back, to go to the beach to the famous and breathtaking Arbatax red rocks).

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (2)

The collection shown at the MAN is made of 120 photographs among the most important in John Maloof’s archive (both street portraits and self-portraits) , shot between the early years of the 50’s and the end of the 60’s, a series of Super 8 films and a selection of color photographs taken from the middle of the 60s.

I was so happy that I could visit this intense and exciting exhibit even if I found out that in November it will leave Nuoro (last day is the 18th of October) after a great success in terms of visitors and interest from all over Italy, to reach Milan, more specifically the Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia, from the 19th of November to the 31st of January 2016.

For my visit I wore a Cos white tee, Please coral pants, New Balance sneakers and a beautiful handmade headband from Madame Ilary (it was an old shirt from Zara in its past life!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vivian Maier (1)