Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary

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9780044408796: Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary
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Tina Modotti, 1896-1942, was a remarkable woman and an outstanding photographer whose legendary beauty and relationships with famous men have until now eclipsed a life integrally linked to the most important artistic, political and historical developments of our century.
A woman of enormous courage, both in life-threatening situations and her challenging of women's traditional roles, Tina Modotti's life became the stuff of myth and legend. Based on years of painstaking research in Mexico, Europe and the United States, Tina Modotti - Photographer and Revolutionary includes a wealth of new material and is a major step toward demythologizing the life of one of the most fascinating women of an extraordinary era.
In 1913 Tina Modotti left her native Italy for San Francisco, becoming a star of the local Italian theatre before marrying the romantic poet-painter Roubaix de l'Abrie Richey. By 1920, she had embarked on a Hollywood film career and immersed herself in bohemian Los Angeles, beginning an intense relationship with the respected American photographer, Edward Weston.
On a trip to Mexico in 1922 to bury her husband, she met the Mexican muralists and became enthralled with the burgeoning cultural renaissance there. Increasingly dissatisfied with the film world, she persuaded Weston to teach her photography and move with her to Mexico. Her Mexico City homes became renowned gathering places for artists, writers and radicals, where Diego Rivera courted Frida Kahlo and Latin American exiles plotted revolution.
Turning her camera to record Mexico in its most vibrant years, her photographs achieve a striking synthesis of artistic form and social content. Her contact with Mexico's muralists, including a brief affair with Rivera, led to her involvement in radical politics. In 1929, she was framed for the murder of her Cuban lover, gunned down at her side on a Mexico City street. A scapegoat of government repression, she was publicly slandered in a sensational trial before being acquitted.
Expelled from Mexico in 1930, she went to Berlin and then to the Soviet Union, where she abandoned photography for a political activism that brought her into contact with Sergei Eisenstein, Alexandra Kollontai, La Pasionaria, Ernest Hemingway and Robert Capa. She carried out dangerous Comintern missions in fascist Europe, became an apparatchik in the early years of Stalinism, and played a key role in the Spanish Civil War. Returning to Mexico incognito in 1939, she died three years later, a lonely - and controversial - death.

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About the Author:

Margaret Hooks is a writer whose books on artists have appeared in several languages. These include Surreal Eden: Edward James & Las Pozas and Frida Kahlo: Portraits of an Icon . She has also written for numerous publications, among themARTnews, Vogue, The Guardian, Afterimage, Elle, Grand Street and The Observer magazine. This award-winning biography of Tina Modotti was nominated for the prestigious Infinity Award. It is now available in seven languages and has been optioned by leading Hollywood film companies with the author being hired to write the film treatment.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Hooks (a Mexico-based journalist) offers a well-researched, deeply sympathetic, and superbly illustrated biography of the passionate Tina Modotti (1896-1942), whose love of Communism, photography, and men made her a legend in her own time. Modotti emigrated in 1913 from Italy to San Francisco, where she found a niche in theatrical circles, but her marriage to artist Robo Richey soon took her to Hollywood and a brief movie career. Then her close relationship with photographer Edward Weston--as his model, lover, and, ultimately, apprentice--gave more of an outlet for her talent than either her marriage or the movies and, after her husband's death in Mexico, she and Weston went there to experience their own artistic awakening. They contributed to the creative ferment fed by Mexico's political turbulence, but their happiness was short-lived, with Weston returning to the US alone. Modotti--who became the favorite photographer of the muralists Diego Rivera and Jos‚ Clemente Orozco--took part increasingly in the revolutionary struggles sweeping the country, but when, in 1929, her exiled Cuban Communist lover was assassinated at her side on a Mexico City street, the ensuing publicity branded her as immoral and she rapidly became persona non grata. Expelled from Mexico, she journeyed through Germany to the Soviet Union, working eventually as a Communist field operative in Spain during the Civil War but abandoning photography entirely. In 1939, Modotti returned secretly to Mexico, only to die mysteriously three years later. A bit marred by unleavened prose, but a thorough account in words and photographs of an exceptional woman whose tragic life was nevertheless one of uncommon achievement. (125 b&w photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780306809811: Tina Modotti: Radical Photographer

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ISBN 10:  0306809818 ISBN 13:  9780306809811
Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2000
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9780044407980: Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary

Pandora, 1993
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