Photographer Tina Modotti

Elyse Snow

Tina Modotti was a working photographer who has become mostly forgotten by everyone except photography buffs.

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However, she had a brilliant modern eye for her medium. Her choice of subjects is quite significant, too, and sets Modotti apart from many of her period’s peers.

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Modotti was an actress and an acvitist as well as a photographer; her turn toward socialism and Communism, specifically the rise of socialist causes in Mexico, defined her career. In 1921, she met photographer Edward Weston, which was the relationship that defined her personal and political lives; she was first his favorite model, then his lover, then his colleague. By 1923 Modotti had moved to Mexico with Weston and one of his children. Four years later she was a member of the Mexican Communist Party, friends (or lovers) with key party officials and artists, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1930 she was deported and…

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