Photographers

Tina Modotti
Italian photographer



Tina Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in 1896 in Italy.
At the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States to join her father in San Francisco, California.
. Attracted to the performing arts supported by the Italian emigre community in the Bay Area, Modotti experimented with acting. She appeared in several plays, operas and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist's model.
In 1918, she married Roubaix "Robo" de l'Abrie Richey and moved with him to Los Angeles in order to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. There she met the photographer Edward Weston and his assistant Margrethe Mather.
By 1921, Modotti was Weston's favorite model and, by October of that year, his lover.
Modotti and Weston quickly gravitated toward the Mexico capital's bohemian scene, and used their connections to create an expanding portrait business. I t was also during this time that Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with Modotti: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali.

She moved to Moscow in 1931, during the next few years she engaged in various missions on behalf of the International Workers' Relief organizations and the Comintern in Europe. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Vidali (then known as "Comandante Carlos") and Modotti (using the pseudonym "Maria") left Moscow for Spain, where they stayed and worked until 1939.
In April 1939, following the collapse of the Republican movement in Spain, Modotti left Spain with Vidali and returned to Mexico under a pseudonym.

Modotti died from heart failure in Mexico City in 1942




"Tina on azotea" by Edward Weston, 1923
© Edward Weston


"Tétée", 1926-1927.
© Tina Modotti


© Tina Modotti


Hands pressed on a tool, 1927
© Tina Modotti



Fishermen sewing fishing nets, 1927-1929
© Tina Modotti


© Tina Modotti

 


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Created on January, 9th 2009
© Pierre J.