Vaguely Familiar

Raw, Naked Art

I often ask myself what makes good street photography. Granted, I only do so when I’m not shooting. While on the street, in museums, at your mama house, I just shoot what is. Ultimately, in those times of pensiveness, when I’m frowning at all the shite that spilled from my lenses, I’ll decide that is what good street shooting is. It’s taking what is — the mundane bits of life — and making them seem to be what always is.

Now, I know that sounds pretentious, but it isn’t meant to be. Great street photography should seem at once unique, surprising, and fresh, but also vaguely familiar. It’s a song you don’t know, but it has a chorus you’ve heard somewhere, maybe hummed by your funky Uncle Jethro with the cheap cigars.

Vivian Maier’s work, recently discovered and universally hailed, does exactly that. We see a shot of a…

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