Remaing invisible to the world around the artists has little to do with talent. But there are few who toil away year after year without recognition. There are however some maverick talents who continue tirelessly. A recent exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center concentrated on an unknown genius who quietly toiled away, alone for decades, who was almost lost to time, Vivian Maier. The show reminded me of a few other amazing photographers that are almost unknown despite their unarguable talent as portrait photographers.
Their selfless, artistic dedication to creating compelling portraits, articulates the relevance of their time and makes their sacrifice timeless. If you are not familiar with these few, your research will be richly rewarded. How many more remain invisible…
Vivian Maier – a mixture of street scenes and bizarre portraits in keeping with Diane Arbus.
Michael Disfarmer – photographed rural farmers with dignity and empathy in 1940’s Arkansas, along the lines of August Sander.
Evelyn Cameron – Montana homesteader who tirelessly photographed prairie life despite hard conditions and little recognition.