Sunday, January 16, 2011

Street Life - Vivian Maier and Jimmy Forsyth

By Vivian Maier

If you haven't heard, Vivian Maier was a Chicago nanny who died in 2009, leaving behind 100,000 negatives that no one but she had ever seen. Her work was discovered by chance, and now the photographs she took are being hailed as some of the best in 20th-century street photography. Of the few images I've seen, I'm impressed.

The story of Vivian reminded me of Jimmy Forsyth who obsesively photographed on the streets of Newcastle in the UK, for 50 years.
By Jimmy Forsyth
Jimmy was originally from Wales but moved to Newcastle in 1953 to work in the ship yards on the Tyne. Within months of starting work he lost an eye in an accident and never worked again. In 1954 Jimmy started taking photographs, and until his death in 2009, aged 95, Jimmy never stopped taking photographs.

All of Jimmy's photographs, and there are over a quater of a million, document working class life and the city he lived in. Mindful of posterity, he captured a world now disapeared, all done on a tiny budget. Jimmy had an innocent, un-trained vision, but within the archive are images of outstanding beauty, like the phototgraph above.

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness for photographers who were (and are) out there capturing the ordinary. It's what we miss most of all after time has passed.

    I have recently read about Vivian Maier and seen some of her photos online, and I love them. I'm looking forward to investigating Jimmy Forsyth, who was over on your side of the pond doing his thing at the same time Vivian was over here doing hers. The photo of his that you posted is love at first sight for me!



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