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Discover the mysterious Vivian Maier's photographs at this L.A. gallery

Written by
Rozette Rago

A collection of photographs taken by longtime nanny and secret street photographer Vivian Maier finally makes its way back to Los Angeles at La Brea's KP Projects Gallery on July 15 until August 26. 

Maier spent four decades as a nanny on Chicago's North Shore, all the while obsessively documenting the world around her through bold black and white photographs of the people and buildings of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Her work first caught the public's attention shortly after her death in 2009, though not much was known about her life. A 2013 documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, focused on uncovering her story through people she knew after finding thousands of her photo negatives at an auction. She has since been widely regarded as one of the best street photographers of the 20th century.

New York, NY 1955 by Vivian Maier
Photograph: Courtesy KP Projects

With the discovery of Maier's work came high demands for her photographs. This spawned many legal battles: There's the question of the owners' rights to monetize from Maier's works, as well as the search for any possible living heirs in France, where Maier's relatives from her mother's side had lived. The copyright law in the United States is complicated, to say the least—owning a photograph doesn't necessarily equate to owning the copyright. While the dispute surrounding John Maloof's collection has been cleared, other collections are still facing legal troubles.

The images to be displayed at the KP Projects exhibition come from Maloof, a Chicago collector who owns the largest collection of Maier's photos and first exposed her work to a wide audience. In addition to more than 100,000 negatives, he also owns audio-tapes, home movies and various other items.

Actor Tim Roth will be hosting and attending an opening reception on Saturday, July 15 from 7pm until 10pm. You can send an RSVP to if you'd like to attend as there will be a guest list at the door.

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