Gallery FIFTY ONE will surprise its visitors with an unusual pairing of two master photographers: Vivian Maier (USA, 1926–2009) and Stephan Vanfleteren (Belgium, 1969). The extraordinary story of Vivian Maier is well known to many: working most of her adult life as a nanny, in time off, she secretly roamed the streets of New York and Chicago with her Rolleiflex camera around her neck. Hardly anyone knew of her photographic activities, up until 2007, when the Chicago real estate agent John Maloof discovered her work by accident and started to successfully reconstruct and promote her oeuvre.
Vivian Maier's street photographs–that show us a cross-section of urban life in prosperous mid-century America, with a peculiar interest in people living in the margins of society–have a surprising affinity with Stephan Vanfleteren's street photography. His penetrating black and white portraits of people from all walks of life made him one of the most well known Belgian photographers of all times. For this exhibition, he will select some images from his diverse oeuvre as an annotation on the work of Vivian Maier. The result: a confrontation between two photographers of a very different place and time, that have one thing in common: fiercely capturing life and all its facets.
Press release courtesy Gallery Fifty One.