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Tina Modotti 1896 -1942 Italian Photographer, Actress, Political activist. | by Victor Fernandez Art
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Tina Modotti 1896 -1942 Italian Photographer, Actress, Political activist.

Modotti was surely one of the most fascinating women of her time, even without reference to her talent as an artist.


Addicted to a bohemian existence, she was an actress, a sometime revolutionary (by design or circumstance, or both), famously beautiful, and a great mystery. The available evidence would suggest that everyone who crossed her path was profoundly impressed.


The Italian-born Modotti emigrated to America in 1913 where she eventually found work as a film actress in Hollywood. It was in California that Modotti met photographer Edward Weston. He introduced her to photography and became her lover.


In 1923 the pair moved to Mexico City, where they operated a studio together. During this time, Modotti increasingly became involved in Mexican cultural and political life as she associated with artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Jose Clemente Orozco, and radicals Xavier Guerrero and Julio Antonio Mella.


She became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement and documented with a modernist aesthetic the life of the common people of that country. In 1930 she was deported from Mexico for Communist activity.


During the next decade she dedicated herself to revolutionary and anti-fascist activities in Russia and Spain and took few photographs. In 1939 she returned to Mexico City where she died three years later at the age of 46.


Her body of work is therefore not large, but each picture in it is irreducible.


Recent prices of her photographs have ranged between $5,000 and $215,000


Main Collectors: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Galerie Bilderwelt, Berlin, Spencer Throckmorton, NYC, Paul Getty Museum, Madonna Art Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ford Motor Company and The Judy and Sidney Zuber Collection among others.


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Taken on February 8, 2011