Tina Modotti - a passionate life

She was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini, in Udine Italy and when she moved to
San Francisco in 1912, she was 16.

It would be the first of many journeys - the next 30 years would take her to Los Angeles, Mexico City, Berlin, Moscow and Malaga...

Modotti by Weston

In Los Angeles she met
Edward Weston.
She became his favourite model and later his lover, darkroom assistant and finally, creative partner.

Modotti by Weston

In 1923,
they opened a photography studio together in Mexico City. Tina's early work was elegant, even formal, but as her political understanding evolved, her images revealed her growing awareness of Mexican life.

Weston by Modotti

Her friends, lovers and
fellow travelers included Freida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Augusto C├ęsar Sandino, Miguel Covarrubias, Jean Charlot, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Sergei Eisenstein, Alexandra Kollontaii, La Pasionaria, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Capa and Norman Bethune.

‘Le mani del burattinaio no. 3 (1926)’ - sold at £61,250

when she died, Pablo Neruda
wrote her epitaph...

Pure your gentle name, pure your fragile life,
bees, shadows, fire, snow, silence and foam,
combined with steel and wire and
pollen to make up your firm
and delicate being.


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