Photographer Vivian Maier was a nanny for decades in Chicago but she shared a secret like that other genius discovered at the last minute in Chicago, Henry Darger. Both were tireless artists toiling in self-imposed obscurity. Darger was discovered by an art loving landlord who decided to keep rather than discard years worth of paintings and collage. In 2009 John Maloof went to a Chicago flea market to look for old antique photos to help illustrate a book about the city. Instead he discovered that someone had two trunks worth of undeveloped rolls of film. On an impulse he bought both for 250 dollars. In it he discovered the life work of Vivian Maier, now celebrated as a genius of 20th century street and portrait photography.
Here is a selection of her stunning self-portraits that show her innate sense of craft, her sense of disconnection with the world around her.