JohnMaloofPortraitBorn in Chicago, John Maloof developed a passion for art a young age. He is an immensely talented artist who works in different mediums. Maloof is the chief curator of Vivian Maier’s work and directed Finding Vivian Maier. This hit documentary tells the story of Vivian Maier, whose photographs that were uncovered earned her posthumous recognition as one of the best street photographers in the history of America.


ILI: How long have you been an artist or when did you start? Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, tell us about it?Laughing Larry Reverse acrylic paint on plexiglass

Maloof: I remember creating art since I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. When I was 10 years old, I got a drafting table for Christmas and I devoted more and more time to art and drawing. I don’t remember a specific incident, but I’ve always been making and creating art in some fashion.

ILI: Illinois has been factored into your work in the past. What does being able to live and work in Illinois mean to you?

Maloof: Since I was born in Chicago and still reside here, I feel there’s something great about being able to live and work in a place where I grew up. I feel a connection to Chicago in many ways.

ILI: What opportunities does Illinois present to local Illinois artists?

Maloof: For artists there are so many museums, art institutions, nationally renowned art schools and plenty of successful artists currently here. There are many neighborhoods in Chicago, for example, that have large artist communities and are great places to live and work among many like-minded people.

Scene Sucker Reverse acrylic paint on plexiglassILI: What do you like about Illinois?

Maloof: Geographically, Illinois is located near the center of the country so it’s a great location if you travel to either coast often, and it’s also a great hub for networking with people from across the country.

ILI: What is your favorite medium to work in?

Maloof: Lately I’ve been working in many different mediums. I’m always making photographs but I’ve been working more in acrylic painting and composing music a lot more over the past couple of years. I also love making films. I don’t think I have a favorite medium. I like having different options for mediums to work in.

ILI: Where can people view or purchase your work?

Maloof: I have some of my work on my website and more photos can be seen on Instagram @johnmaloof.

ILI: What artist inspires you and why?

Maloof: I go through obsessions with artists in phases. Lately I’ve been obsessed with the music by Ariel Pink and paintings by Joe Bradley.

Zig Zag 001 Reverse acrylic paint on plexiglass