Life is always struggling to predominate and art naturally suffers.
March 28, 2016 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Sickle, Bandolier and Corn Tina Modotti was a Silent screen star when she modelled for, and became the lover of Edward Weston.
They moved to Mexico and he started to teach her photography.

As their love waned and Weston returned to California, Modotti had an affair with Diego Rivera and later introduced him to Frida Kahlo in 1927, - the same year she joined the Partido Comunista. The following year Rivera painted The Arsenal where he portrayed the love triangel of Modotti, Julio Antonio Mella and Vittorio Vidali.
Modotti and other photographers of the Left in this period were influenced by Soviet photography, which rejected “photography as art” and insisted on its use in connection with social change.
In 1929 Modotti had her first one-woman retrospective exhibition which was advertised as the “First Revolutionary Photographic Exhibition In Mexico”.
Hopscotching from Berlin to Paris and always back to Moscow for six years, Modotti took on spy missions, wrote polemics, performed basic office drudgery and helped build the Moscow subway system. When, in 1932, she gave her Leica to a young comrade as a gift, it closed a photographic career than had really ended two years before.
In January 1942 in Mexico on her way home from a dinner party at Pablo Neruda’s house, she suffered a massive heart attack while in the back of a taxi. She was 45.
Vittorio Vidali was always a suspect. She had told a friend, "He is an assassin. He dragged me into an atrocious murder. I detest him with all my soul. Nevertheless I must follow him until death''.
posted by adamvasco (2 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Small sample, but those look as good as Weston's.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 8:27 PM on March 28, 2016


And yet (quoted in the Telegraph article - the last but one link) “On the death certificate, her occupation was recorded as ‘housewife’”…

What a story! Thanks for the links, adamvasco.
posted by misteraitch at 4:10 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


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